ST. PETERSBURG, Florida – Ask Didi Gregorius how eager he is to start a minor league reeducation mission and he will tell you he was ready yesterday.
"I have been trying to start the games since April," the Yankees spokesman said Friday with a smile. "But that's what it is."
"He's been saying since spring," Let's go, I'm ready to go, "said manager Aaron Boone.
From here at least, Gregorius and the Yankees will see the end of his endless rehab after Tommy John's surgery and the real beginning of his return trip to the Bronx.
Gregorius, 29, will play his first extended spring training game as a designated hitter on May 20.
"This idea is exciting," said Boone. "Knowing how good he is and how important he is to our team."
Seeing Gregorius in the club, talking with his teammates, "it gives you the impression of thinking about what lies ahead."
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Gregorius is undergoing rehabilitation at the Yankees minor league complex in Tampa since the start of the season in New York.
As for knowing when he will be allowed to play on the defensive, Gregorius is not sure.
"It's something I'm going to talk about soon," said Gregorius, after briefly working on his position before the first game of the Friday night series between the Yankees and Rays, leader of the AL East.
March 13, 2019; Tampa, Florida, United States; Didi Gregorius (18) of the New York Yankees before the match against the Philadelphia Phillies at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Photo: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
After making a few smooth throws to first base, Gregorius increased the intensity of his drills and made some powerful and unbalanced shots from a short position.
"Yes," Gregorius says his arm is as strong as he would during a normal spring training.
Seven months after his elbow surgery, an injury sustained in the second game of the AL division in Boston, Gregorius has already managed some powerful shots.
"It was funny.It's pretty good," said Gregorius, "Since I'm at 135 (feet, throwing long shots), it's really good, no pain, nothing." C & # 39; is what I want. & # 39; & # 39;
During his batting practice sessions, "I do not feel anything while I hit," said Gregorius, whose left-handed bat averaged 24 homers and 81 RBIs with a .791 score since 2016 season.
"I felt good. I feel ready to leave. "
And what he wants, quickly, is joining a club that has built a record of 22-15 with as many key players on the wounded list.
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"It shows that the team is together, that the guys are playing hard and doing what they have to do, and that's what you expect from a team," Gregorius said.
"No matter who is standing or who is down … the team is together, they play well."
What's up with Gregorius?
"Her hair play is getting stronger, a little fuller," Boone said of Gregorius' new hairstyle.
In addition to the successful rehab that Gregorius "fears", Boone said the club would be smart to bring it to the condition of playing in the regular season.
Chad Green update
Liberator Chad Green may be ready to join the Yankees "in the coming days," according to Boone.
In option for miners on April 24 to work on his faulty mechanics (14 points earned, 7.2 innings), Green has seen an improvement.
In 7.1 innings (three appearances) at Scranton / Wilkes-Barre, the right handed two points and two walks and struck out 14 batters.
Green has launched a session Friday after launching Wednesday and could be with the Yankees before the end of the weekend, said Boone.
Boone added that Green could "possibly" be used in several roles upon his return.
"Frankly, that's how we started this year, hoping to do it," Boone said. At S-W / B, Green worked to strengthen his arms for this role.
"We think he's able to be more than a man of the race, obviously," Boone said. "We'll just see how that goes."
Didi Gregorius of the Yankees takes the lead and throws on Friday, May 10, about 10 days before starting his relay at a prolonged spring training
Pete Caldera, Editor, @pcaldera