TAMPA, Fla. — Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius played five innings of defense and went 2 for 4 with a walk on Monday at extended spring training in his first game action since Tommy John surgery on Oct. 17.
“It was good,” Gregorius said.
Playing against Detroit Tigers minor leaguers and in front of Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner, Gregorius singled twice and cleanly fielded three grounders but got an error for an bad throw to first base.
Gregorius, who throws right handed, is coming back from surgery to a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. He appears on track to start a minor league injury rehabilitation assignment with the Class A Tampa Tarpons soon and to rejoin the Yankees in mid-to-late June.
“He got a lot of at-bats, got a couple balls. He threw a ball away, so his arm was feeling a little too good, I guess,” Yankees Manager Aaron Boone said before his team faced the Orioles in Baltimore. “But he got through it. A hot day down there. A couple more days down there and then, hopefully, get transferred over to the Tarpons. But a big step, obviously, in the return for Didi.”
Gregorius had an eventful first inning.
He charged to field a one-hopper and then make an accurate throw to first to retire the second batter.
After fouling a ball off his foot and breaking a bat on a pop foul, Gregorius drew a walk in the bottom half. He slid feet first into second base on grounder, then slid headfirst into third on an infield single.
Gregorius hit .268 with a career-high 27 homers and 86 runs batted in last season. He injured the elbow in October while making a throw from left field after a ball bounced off Fenway Park’s Green Monster during Game 2 of the Yankees’ American League division series against the Red Sox.
Outfielder Giancarlo Stanton was scheduled to start an injury rehab assignment for Class A Tampa on Monday night. He has not played since March 31 because of a strained left biceps and then a strained left shoulder.
Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, sidelined since April 3 by a strained left calf, took on-field batting practice Monday and continued taking grounders at shortstop and third base.