After undergoing elbow surgery to remove bone spurs back in December, there were some doubts about Gio Urshelaâ€™s availability for the start of the campaign. The New York Yankeesâ€™ starting third baseman completed a miraculous recovery and is already playing spring training games. Now, barring something unexpected, he will surely be ready when the Bombers kick off their season.
Urshela made his spring debut yesterday in the blowout loss against the Philadelphia Phillies. He took a couple of at-bats and reported no lingering effects from his elbow.
During Thursdayâ€™s game, the Yankeesâ€™ starter at the hot corner took a grounder and threw a strike across the infield to nab the runner at first base.
As long as he can take at-bats and make infield throws with confidence, he shouldnâ€™t have issues going forward.
“It felt really good,” said Urshela, who went 0-for-2 in the ballgame, to MLB.com. “I felt 100 percent, trying to get my elbow ready. Now I’m just trying to get that timing back.”
The Yankees expect Urshela to be ready for Opening Day
The Yankees certainly expect Urshela to be ready on Opening Day and be an offensive and defensive ace. In 2020, he slashed .298/.368/.490 (136 OPS+) with six homers and 30 RBIs in 43 regular-season games.
“He looks great,” said Yankees bench coach Carlos Mendoza. “Coming back from that surgery, the biggest thing is throwing from multiple angles. We all know how Gio makes that charging play when he’s got to come in and get rid of the ball at a lower angle slot. He’s been fine making throws from the third-base line. He’s in a good spot and ready to go.”
Urshela was already progressing nicely about two weeks before the report date. Mendoza played catch with him and observed that the arm speed and action was excellent.
The Yankees will have Urshela rest on Friday and take the field again on Saturday.
“In the first inning, I saw everything go fast, so I tried to slow my timing down a little bit,” Urshela said. “After my first at-bat, I felt much better.”