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New York Yankees' Didi Gregorius fields a ground ball during a Gulf Coast League baseball game Monday, May 20, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. Gregorius is playing for the first time since having Tommy John surgery. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

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Didi Gregorius takes next step in rehab, joins RailRiders

MOOSIC, Pa. – While Didi Gregorius didn’t get to step on the diamond Tuesday night as the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders opened their series against the Rochester Red Wings, the New York Yankees shortstop took another step in his rehab, none the less.

Working his way back from offseason Tommy John surgery, Gregorius said on Tuesday that he could have been ready at the start of the season. But the Yankees didn’t want to rush things.

Now that he’s taken the next step in his rehab, after two games with the High-A Tampa Tarpons this past weekend, Gregorius just wants to get more at-bats under his belt.

That’ll just have to wait until Wednesday after the postponement of Tuesday’s series opener due to a threat of tornadoes in the area.

“Just getting prepared. I think that’s the only thing (I need to do),” Gregorius said. “Just get my timing and everything back. Get my games in a get ready to go.

New York Yankees’ Didi Gregorius fields a ground ball during a Gulf Coast League baseball game Monday, May 20, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. Gregorius is playing for the first time since having Tommy John surgery. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

“So far everything’s been good, so I’m happy with that.”

RailRiders manager Jay Bell said Tuesday afternoon that Gregorius would stick with the Triple-A club for the through the homestand, which ends on Sunday, as the 29-year-old works his way back from offseason Tommy John surgery.

However, with Tuesday’s postponement, the plan for Gregorius could be adjusted.

He was originally expected to play in games each of the next three days, with seven innings at shortstop on Tuesday, a day at designated hitter on Wednesday and a full nine innings at short on Thursday. The RailRiders now play a doubleheader against Rochester on Wednesday.

“That’s what I want to do. That’s what I want to do, definitely,” Gregorius said of playing in games three days in a row. “Playing games. That’s the most I’m looking forward to.

“As soon as I’m ready to go, I’ll tell them.”

At this point in his rehab, Gregorius is still working on his timing.

Tampa Tarpons Didi Gregorius (11), on rehab assignment from the New York Yankees, jogs to first base during a Florida State League game against the Bradenton Marauders on May 26, 2019 at LECOM Park in Bradenton, Florida. Bradenton defeated Tampa 3-1. (Mike Janes/Four Seam Images via AP)

Gregorius was 2-for-7 with a home run, a walk and two strikeouts in two games with the Tarpons. He also estimates that he saw six or seven plays in the field at shortstop.

With a full homestand of games ahead of him, Gregorius will have plenty of opportunities to get his timing down.

“It still needs some work. I think I only had seven or eight at-bats at this point. I still need a little bit more to see everything.”

The quick turnaround for Gregorius, who only had Tommy John surgery back in October, isn’t a surprise to Gregorius or Bell, for that matter, despite the early timetables for the shortstop’s return being marked anywhere between June and August.

From Bell’s point of view, Gregorius looked impressive back in the spring and the first-year RailRiders manager is excited to see him in action this week at PNC Field.

“I watched him in spring training, and he was pretty throwing well in spring training,” Gregorius said. “Here we are – this is almost June, so we’re talking about two months since I’ve seen him last, and I imagine he’s worked his tail off to get to where he’s at. So I’m not surprised at all.”

Written By

DJ Eberle covers the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders for Pinstriped Prospects. He is the former RailRiders beat reporter for the Times Leader newspaper in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

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