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BC-BBA--Yankees-Gregorius,3rd Ld-Writethru

May 20, 2019

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius played five innings of defense and went 2 for 4 with a walk 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 had an error for an errant throw to first base.

Gregorius is coming back from surgery to a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. He appears on track to soon start a minor league injury rehabilitation assignment with Class A Tampa and 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 New York 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 RBIs last season. He injured the elbow while making a throw from left field after a ball bounced off Fenway Park’s Green Monster during Game 2 of the AL Division Series at Boston last Oct.

Also on Monday, third baseman Miguel Andujar had season-ending surgery on his shoulder. Coming off a solid rookie year, Andujar tore his right labrum in the third game of season. He was activated from the injured list on May 4, went 3 for 34 with no RBIs and returned to the IL on May 13.

The Yankees hope to have him fully healthy by spring training.

“I sent him a text message sometime this morning. Probably he was actually in surgery,” Boone said. “But it sounds like it went well, and now the road to recovery starts back. He should be good to go come spring.”

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, resumed on-field batting practice Monday and continued taking grounders at shortstop and third base.

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