Since he arrived at Yankees camp in Tampa, Didi Gregorius has been very limited in what he can do as his recovery from Tommy John surgery continues. But manager Aaron Boone gave some very good news regarding the veteran shortstop's progress back to the team on Thursday morning.
Boone told the Daily News' Kristie Ackert that Gregorius should begin hitting for real as soon as next week. Gregorius has been doing a little with fungo bats, but Boone believes he's ready to pick up a real bat.
"He's doing some dry swinging," Boone said. "He's already started a little bit with the fungo. Real bat? Probably the first of next week. It's kind of graduation there."
Gregorius' arm has been responding well to his throwing program that he begun back in February. He has been seen taking ground balls as well, but this is still early in the process of Gregorius returning to the team fully healthy.
"I would say once he's cleared to really start throwing and taking ground balls and throwing across the infield, doing normal (batting practices), and he's bouncing back, then you're going to be in a position where he'll have a feel of OK, now we're looking when is he going to be able to play in some games," Boone said. "And at that point, you're probably talking four weeks to go through a spring training and all that. But I wouldn't say we're there yet."
The Yankees are currently keeping the same June or July timeline for Gregorius to return to the club. In the meantime, Gregorius' replacement in Troy Tulowitzki has been impressive to kick off his spring. The 34-year-old, who the team is taking a chance on following his double-heel surgery over a year ago, has mashed two homers and entered today's spring training game against the Phillies 3-for-8 with five RBI.