Yankees SS Didi Gregorius will miss Opening Day and could be out for all of April due to a hematoma of the subcapsular muscle in his right shoulder, manager Joe Girardi told reporters on Tuesday.
GM Brian Cashman said the Yankees were told Gregorius would likely miss six weeks, adding that Tyler Wade, Pete Kozma, Ronald Torreyes, Ruben Tejada, and Starlin Castro -- but not SS prospect Gleyber Torres -- are all options to play shortstop in Gregorius' absence.
Gregorius, who had been playing for Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic, had an MRI Monday, and was expected to undergo more tests on Tuesday.
The 27-year-old went just 1-for-5 in two Grapefruit League games before leaving for the WBC, and was hitting .348 (8-for-23) with one HR, eight RBI and four doubles while representing Netherlands in the tournament.
In 153 games for the Yankees last season, Gregorius hit .276 with 20 HR, 70 RBI, and 32 doubles.
This is unfortunate news for the Yankees as Gregorius was having a solid spring and an incredible offensive run at the WBC. Gregorius is coming off a career year and at 27 years old, his ceiling might not yet be reached. Losing Gregorius for an extended period will surely hinder part of the Yankees' middle of the lineup production.
The Yankees have some options to cover Gregorius for short-term and long-term timeframes if needed for the regular season. In the short term, two of the competing utility infielders -- Ronald Torreyes, Ruben Tejada or Pete Kozma -- could make the club. There is a slim chance the team might use Tyler Wade after a fantastic spring. Or, the Yankees could shift Starlin Castro from second base to shortstop if this is a long term injury. That could provide Rob Refsnyder with a chance to make the team as a second baseman, or as a utility player.