TAMPA, Fla. - During the first six weeks of spring training, the Yankees for the most part avoided any debilitating injuries.
It appears as if that lucky streak continued Saturday afternoon after a scare with shortstop Didi Gregorius.
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The 25-year-old rolled his left wrist while diving for a ball in the second inning of a 10-2 loss to the Orioles at Steinbrenner Field. He stayed in the game but, after feeling something in the wrist while checking his swing during a third-inning at-bat, he was removed an inning later.
He was diagnosed with a left wrist sprain, but X-rays came back negative. Joe Girardi said Gregorius, who had been scheduled to make Sunday's trip to Kissimmee for a game against the Astros, will be off until Wednesday at the earliest.
Still, it appeared as if Gregorius and the Yankees dodged a major bullet. "I was worried, but now that everything is fine, there's nothing to worry about,'' he said.
He felt differently immediately after hitting the ground while diving toward the hole in an attempt to stop Everth Cabrera's ground single.
"I rolled a lot,'' Gregorius said. "If you see the video, I almost rolled completely over it. I had to roll with it, otherwise I think it would have snapped or something. But it was fine after that.''
Said Girardi: "Whenever a guy dives now, I kind of hold my breath.''
Now at first, A-Rod
Alex Rodriguez hit his third exhibition homer, hammering a first-pitch fastball that lefty Brian Matusz left up in the zone to deep left.
"That one felt good,'' said Rodriguez, 39, who has posted a .306/.405/.583 slash line. "I was excited about that one.''
He said he feels the same about what will come Sunday -- a start at first base, the first of his career.
"I'm excited,'' said A-Rod, who did extra work at first on one of the back fields here before Saturday's game, complete with a first baseman's glove for the first time. "[Sunday] should be fun.''
Good test for Ellsbury
Jacoby Ellsbury gave about as stringent a test as possible to his oblique, which has kept him out since March 15, taking two full rounds of batting practice (10 turns) before Saturday's game.
"It went well,'' he said as he walked off the field afterward. "That's a lot on a normal day. You don't normally hit two groups. I felt good.''
Ellsbury also has started to throw and said he is ready for the next step, which is playing in a minor-league game Tuesday.
Another run off Dellin
Dellin Betances allowed a run and a hit, moving his ERA to 7.11 in 61/3 innings, but he and Girardi thought the outing was better than the four preceding it.
"I thought his curveball was better,'' Girardi said. "I thought that was a step in the right direction.''
Said Betances, "I'll get at least three or four more games before the season starts, so I'll be ready for sure.''
Stephen Drew went 1-for-2 with a homer. He had three hits, including two doubles, on Friday . . . Mariano Rivera, in town Saturday night for a sponsor's dinner, visited camp.