Yankees: Fantasy Impact of Didi Gregorius Injury

After a great spring, the Yankees may be without their shortstop Didi Gregorius for all of April with a shoulder strain.

The New York Yankees created a lot of buzz last trade deadline. They traded two dominate relievers and an outfielder and received a big haul of prospects in return. Those players mixed with the current Yankees sit atop Spring Training with the best record at 18-6.

Things quickly came crashing down as shortstop Didi Gregorius has been shut down with a shoulder injury and could miss all of April.  With a deep infield pool, the Yankees have options, but who will fill his spot?

MLB Trade Rumors reports how Gregorius suffered the injury.

(He) suffered the injury playing for the Netherlands’ World Baseball Classic team during a Spring Training exhibition against the Diamondbacks.  He hurt his shoulder while making a throw as part of turning a double play.

Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald (ironic) tweeted that he was turning the double play as the second baseman, not his natural position. He has just 10 games played as a second baseman.

Gregorius had a great second year in New York. In 153 games, he hit a career-high 20 home runs, 70 RBI and 68 runs with a .276 average. In any other year, he would have been a top-12 shortstop, but the position has exploded and I ranked him No. 15.

Now, the Yankees have to do some maneuvering in the infield. The most likely candidate to replace Gregorius is already on the 25-man roster, Starlin Castro. He played the majority of games at shortstop with the Cubs before coming to New York.

Castro also had a good season with 21 homers, 70 RBI and .270. He will still have success this year regardless of where he plays defense.

The big question is if Castro does move to shortstop, who will fill in at second base. Tristan H. Cockcroft of ESPN suggests that Ronald Torreyes is the likely replacement. In 39 at-bats, Torreyes has a .282 average with five RBI and two steals. He isn’t worth drafting any re-draft leagues.

Tyler Wade is a deeper option. He has a .394/.429/.485 line. He doesn’t have a home run and just one RBI in 33 at-bats this spring. If he were to take over at second or short, the Yankees would have to make an additional move because he is not on the 40-man roster, but that’s a topic for another day.

Girardi noted all-star prospect Gleyber Torres is not to be considered for the spot, despite hitting .464 with two home runs and nine RBI. Torres is just 20 years old and hasn’t played in any level higher than High-A with either the Cubs or Yankees. Don’t reach for Torres in your drafts.

Gregorius’ injury hurts the Yankees lineup a bit. He benefitted greatly from the move to New York, as evident by the increased power. In AL-only leagues, Gregorius is worth a stash if you have a deep bench or DL spot. It’s difficult for me to draft him in any other format.