ST. PETERSBURG — Wearing street clothes, Didi Gregorius leaned against the batting cage to watch the Yankees hit before Wednesday’s series finale against the Rays at Tropicana Field, saying goodbye to his teammates as they prepare to leave the Sunshine State.
“I really want to be here before May,” Gregorius said. “I don’t like sitting out. I’ve got to work my way back. I’m going based on the schedule, because I’m not the one making the rules.”
Full Game Coverage
Gregorius strained his right shoulder in a March 18 exhibition game while completing a double play for the Netherlands’ World Baseball Classic entry. He has thrown twice at 60 feet and will increase that distance to 90 feet on Thursday while swinging a bat one-handed.
“I don’t want to rush anything, because if something happens, it’s going to be even worse with a setback,” Gregorius said.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he does not know how many Minor League games Gregorius will need before rejoining the active roster. The Yankees plan to have Gregorius remain behind at their player development complex in Tampa, Fla., for the next few weeks.
“I think the throwing program will go according to plan,” Girardi said. “I think the amount of games that he plays in is really how he feels, how he feels that he’s swinging, and everything is progressing. I think that timetable is probably a little bit more flexible than the throwing program.”
Fill-in shortstop Ronald Torreyes slugged the Yankees’ first homer of the season in Tuesday’s 5-0 win over the Rays, which Gregorius applauded. Gregorius said that it has not been difficult to observe the season’s first 18 innings from the sidelines.
“It’s not the first time. What can I say?” Gregorius said. “I’m still here. I still watch the games. It’s nothing different.”