At just 26 years old, Didi Gregorius continued to progress on offense in 2016 and put up career-best marks nearly across the board. The shortstop entered the year with 22 career home runs, but he turned in 20 long balls to go along with a career-high 70 RBI. The lefty also seemingly figured out how to hit southpaws after being a liability against them in his first few years, as he hit .320 with an .826 OPS against left-handed pitching. He also cut down on his strikeouts (career-low 13.7 percent strikeout rate) while adding a small speed element to his game with seven stolen bases in eight attempts. Shortstop is not the wasteland it once was, and if Gregorius maintains the gains he displayed last season, or even builds on them, he will make for an affordable high-end middle-infield option or low-end option at shortstop in standard leagues.
Gregorius agreed to a one-year, $5.1 million contract with the Yankees on Friday, avoiding arbitration, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports. His defense slipped in his age-25 season, but Gregorius made up for it to an extent with a significant power boost. Gregorius more than doubled his previous career high of nine home runs (established in 2015) while posting the best contact rate of his career. He'll make for a decent consolation prize for those who miss out on one of the young superstars at the shortstop position.
Gregorius is not in Saturday's lineup against the Orioles. He left Friday's game after two at-bats, but so did several other Yankees regulars, so it seems that they are simply trying to spread out the playing time over the final games of the season. Ronald Torreyes will start at shortstop and hit ninth Saturday.
Gregorius went 3-for-4 with a solo homer Tuesday against the Red Sox. Gregorius was one of three Yankees to hit one out against Boston starter David Price, continuing his season-long trend of excelling against lefties. The 26-year-old shortstop is putting together by far his finest campaign to date, as he now has 20 homers after never managing to top nine in a season since breaking into the majors in 2012.
Gregorius (ribs) is back in the lineup Wednesday against the Dodgers. He was held out of the lineup over the last two games due to rib soreness, but he hit a pinch-hit home run in Tuesday's game, signaling that he was ready to return. Gregorius should serve as the Yankees' everyday shortstop over the final 20 days of the season.
Gregorius is not in the lineup Tuesday against the Dodgers. Manager Joe Girardi said Monday that Gregorius is "really beat up," so it's no surprise to see the shortstop get a second consecutive day off. Gregorius, who's sat just three times since the All-Star break, could return to the lineup Wednesday, but the Yankees appear to be handling him on a day-to-day basis.