The New York Yankees will be without their starting shortstop Didi Gregorius for at least six weeks, four of those weeks running into the regular season, after Didi strained his shoulder playing for Team Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic. As we discussed earlier I opined that it would be foolish, not very fiscally responsible and simply unnecessary to acquire a shortstop in a trade to replace Didi just for a month so in this post we will discuss the potential internal replacements for Gregorius and how the Yankees can mix and match on the field until Gregorius returns from the disabled list.
On the short list to replace Gregorius on the 25 man roster you have infielders Tyler Wade, Ronald Torreyes, Pete Kozma, Ruben Tejada and Rob Refsnyder while the Yankees also have Starlin Castro who will undoubtedly make the team as either the starting shortstop or the team’s starting second baseman. Gleyber Torres will not make the club out of spring training as much as many Yankees fans would like him to and neither will Jorge Mateo unfortunately but that still gives Yankees manager Joe Girardi an absolute ton of options to choose from.
Now the likeliest option to occur here is that Castro would move over to shortstop while some combination of Refsnyder and Torreyes man second base for the first month of the season. Kozma or Tejada could always break camp with the team but honestly I think the combination of Refsnyder and Torreyes could more than fill the job plus fill the jobs on the bench since both men can play most anywhere in the infield as well as the outfield. Tyler Wade unfortunately will not be making the team this spring unless a whole lot happens between now and April 2nd, and it won’t.
The Yankees have already stated that they would prefer Wade to start the season in Triple-A Scranton after spending the entire 2016 season in Double-A with the Trenton Thunder. Wade hit just .259 with five home runs and 27 RBI in 133 games last season in Double-A but he has had a strong spring training camp and his work ethic and dedication to the game has impressed many Yankees coaches and players. Will it be enough to snag a roster spot? Not likely. Not as long as Refsnyder has a minor league option and not as long as Torreyes is healthy. But hey like the New York lotter, you never know. Stay tuned.