Didi Gregorius said his surgically repaired right elbow feels “really good,” but what that means in terms of a return to baseball activities, and ultimately the field, is not yet clear.
“I don’t have that information yet,” Gregorius, making his first public comments since undergoing Tommy John surgery in October, said early Saturday afternoon at an event inside the W. 34th Street T-Mobile store in Manhattan.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman disclosed in his end-of-season news conference Oct. 12 that Gregorius soon would be undergoing surgery on the elbow, which he injured in Game 2 of the Division Series against the Red Sox.
Cashman did not give a timeframe but said Gregorius is likely to miss at least the first two months – and quite possibly more – of the regular season. For that reason, he will be searching for infield depth at this week’s winter meetings in Las Vegas. It’s also why the Manny Machado-to-the-Yankees speculation will continue to run hot and heavy. Cashman has stayed in touch with the infielder’s agent since last month’s GM meetings.
Gregorius said he felt something in the elbow during the seventh inning of Game 2 when, after leftfielder Andrew McCutchen misplayed Ian Kinsler's drive off the Green Monster at Fenway Park, the shortstop retrieved the ball in left and threw it back in. Gregorius, who wore a cast at Saturday’s event, told club medical personnel about the injury after that game but said he would be playing the rest of the series. Period. Which he did, playing in Games 3 and 4 at the Stadium.
“I already knew as soon as it happened on that play in Boston, I knew it was going to happen,” Gregorius said of knowing that the injury was serious and likely would need surgery. “I told them I’m playing and I don’t care what they say.”
Gregorius amiably greeted fans and posed for pictures during the hour he was at the store Saturday. He spoke for just over a minute before being yanked away by two handlers from his Excel Sports agency who appeared overwhelmed by the presence of three reporters, whom Gregorius also greeted pleasantly and with a smile.
The shortstop, who hit a career-high 27 homers, produced a career-best .829 OPS and played Gold Glove-caliber defense last season, believes there will be no drop-off in performance when he does come back.
“Really confident. I don’t think much will change,” Gregorius said. “It’s just surgery and that’s it.”