Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius said on Monday that he believes he will return this season after suffering ligament damage during the final play of the team's playoff-clinching victory on Saturday.
Gregorius said on Sunday that he "would not want to sit out and watch that [Wild Card Game]," per MLB.com.
Manager Aaron Boone said Gregorius is "significantly better," but warned that it is important to remain cautious until he is re-evaluated.
"The true indicator will come Wednesday when he's re-evaluated and we see how he does," Boone said.
In 132 games this season, Gregorius is hitting .268 with a career-high 27 home runs. He is just one RBI shy of tying his last career high, 87.
If Gregorius is indeed out for the rest of the season, it will be a certain blow to the Yankees' aspirations for an extended playoff run.
Gregorius has been a consistent contributor for the club all season, something that cannot be said for many of the players on the roster. While the Yankees performed admirably during his recent stint on the disabled list, removing his left-handed bat from the lineup surely shortchanges a heavily pronounced right-handed hitting squad.
The Yankees will shift Gleyber Torres to shortstop and not lose much, if anything, on either end of the ball. At second base, the Yankees will likely interchangeably use Adeiny Hechavarria and Neil Walker presumably based on the handedness of the pitcher. Either option presents a downgrade from the Gregorius/Torres when grouped as a tandem. Another important factor to consider is that Gregorius' field commander presence in what is an otherwise very young and inexperienced infield.
Hopefully, Gregorius' upbeat view of the situation pans out; otherwise, the Yankees will have to get by without one of their best players when they need him the most.