Didi Gregorius is a gamer.
It's hard to argue otherwise after the Yankees shortstop said he knew he'd need surgery the second his right elbow popped in ALDS Game 2 at Fenway Park, according to New York Post's Ken Davidoff.
Ian Kinsler drove a deep double that ricocheted off the Green Monster in the seventh inning. Andrew McCutchen, new to the American League and the pesky towering wall, misplayed the ball. In an attempt to prevent Mitch Moreland from crossing home plate, Gregorius quickly hurled the ball toward home before Miguel Andujar cut off the throw from the infield. Despite the immediate pain, Gregorius kept playing.
"I already knew [surgery would be needed] as soon as it happened on that play in Boston," Gregorius told New York Post on Saturday. "I already knew it was going to happen. I told them I'm playing; I don't care what they say."
The 28-year old underwent Tommy John surgery in late October and his timeline for returning to New York's active roster is still uncertain, but Gregorius is expected miss the first two months of the season. For that reason, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is expected to be more active in his search for infield depth at the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas on Monday. Free agent Manny Machado, who moved from third base to shortstop last season, could fill New York's immediate needs.
Weeks after the surgery, Gregorius said he's "confident" he'll return to the field the same player he was before the injury. The shortstop slashed .268/.335/.494 with a career-high 27 homers, 86 RBIs, 10 stolen bases and 46 walks paired with outstanding defense for the Yankees last season.