Fans are calling New York Yankees’Â Â Didi Gregorius the â€œOferâ€ because he is in the midst of a career-worst hitless streak encompassing 28 at-bats. The April Player of the Month has lost 100 points on his average since April 25 when he was batting .372â€”-he is currently batting .272.
While fans suspected that Gregorius would not keep up the torrid pace of his April play indefinitely, hitting .330 with 10 home runs and 30 RBIâ€™s in 25 days, they did not expect him to fall to earth so completely so quickly.
New York Postâ€™s Howie Kussoy reports that after the game Boone discussed Gregoriusâ€™ struggles:
â€œHeâ€™s just a little bit off from a timing standpoint,â€™â€™ Boone said. â€œI think he is working through some things. Itâ€™s the ebb and flow of the season and I believe shortly he will get it rolling again. The key for him is sometimes he thinks, â€˜Iâ€™ve just got to put it in play.â€™ Instead of hey, get into position to impact the ball. When heâ€™s doing that then he is laying off the pitches that he shouldnâ€™t be swinging at and heâ€™s impacting the ball because he is capable of it.â€
Kussoy reports that Boone also finds optimism in the fact that Gregorius has only struck out twice during the recent homestand, despite going 0-25.
Gregorius is known for his infectious smiles and dynamite after-game highlights on Twitter, and is also known as an elite shortstop whose work ethic and dedication to his craft are well documented.
Since joining the Yankees, Gregorius has had the monumental task of becoming more than the successor to Derek Jeter by becoming the best Didi Gregorius at shortstop he could become and that meant becoming a more complete player.
Not only are his defensive skills the equal of top shortstops Francisco Lindor, Carlos Correa and Corey Seager, but his offensive skills have improved to make him one of the most impactful players on a team bursting with impact players.
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Tanya Bondurant of Pinstripe Alley sums up Gregoriusâ€™ 2017 regular season impact:
â€œIn 136 games this season, Gregorius hit .287/.318/.478 with 25 (yes, 25) home runs. Those statistics were good enough for 3.9 fWAR, which put him third among Yankee position players behind only Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez. Not bad company to keep.â€
In 2018, Gregorius came out of spring training red hot, even out pacing Mike Trout (nine) for the most home runs hit in April with 10. Needless to say he was outperforming the Yankees own sluggers, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Gary Sanchez.[sc name=”StubHub”]
What does Gregorius himself believe is the answer to busting out of his slump? He told Kussoy:
“This game is about having fun and that is my approach. Work hard and have fun.â€
Gregorius has the only attitude a player can have when overcoming adversity—remember that this is supposed to be fun.
Fans hope Gregorius can start having a lot more fun—the sooner the better or what were raucous cheers in April may become rumbling boos in May.