Hechavarria gives Yankees options at shortstop

Gregorius' return pushed back to Seattle series; September reinforcements arrive

September 2nd, 2018

NEW YORK -- The Yankees regard as something of a defensive wizard, and with shortstop Didi Gregorius not expected to rejoin the active roster until next week in Seattle, the veteran's stellar glovework could prove to be valuable.
Hechavarria made his Yankees debut as a defensive replacement in the ninth inning of Saturday's 2-1 victory over the Tigers, having been acquired from the Pirates along with cash considerations late Friday evening in exchange for a player to be named or cash considerations. The deal for the 29-year-old came in just under the midnight wire for the completion of trades to have players eligible for the postseason roster.
"It was a big surprise to me," Hechavarria said through an interpreter. "When I got the news it was about 12:30 at night, so I was not really waiting for anything like that. ... I have to thank God I'm here. It's a great team with a well-known history. I just have to be ready for whatever opportunity I get. Whichever way the team might need me, I'm going to be ready to contribute."
Hechavarria's acquisition coincides with an updated timetable on Gregorius, who has been testing his bruised left heel but now is not expected to be activated for Monday's Labor Day game against the Athletics.
"I think it's a safer play to show him potentially as available in that Friday series in Seattle," general manager Brian Cashman said. "If it's sooner, that'd be great. It's nice to have Hechavarria here as an alternative in the event it takes longer than expected."
Manager Aaron Boone said he believes Gregorius is "doing really well" as he continues to run and hit on the field.
"He really ramped it up yesterday as far as his running, ground balls, hitting," Boone said before Saturday's game. "Today was a big day in that how he would respond to that. So far, so good. I'm optimistic sooner rather than later. I don't have a date for you yet but he's moving in the right direction to get back in there."
September shakeup
In other moves Saturday, the Yankees reinstated catcher from the disabled list, while adding outfielder to the active roster.
They recalled right-hander and infielder from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, while signing left-hander Stephen Tarpley to a Major League contract and selecting him from Triple-A.
One of the pieces in the July 2016 deal with the Pirates, Tarpley combined to go 7-2 with a 1.94 ERA and two saves in 36 games for Double-A Trenton and Triple-A, striking out 71 batters in 69 2/3 innings.
"Tarpley has really developed well and he's grown," Cashman said. "He's a ground-ball machine, he's been a strikeout guy who gets lefties and righties out. He's done everything he needs to do and then some to be up here. He probably would've been up in most Major League bullpens if it wasn't for our current bullpen."
In order to create room for Tarpley on the 40-man roster, outfielder was designated for assignment.
Justus department
, the Yankees' top-rated prospect, will continue to pitch out of the bullpen at Triple-A while he awaits his first big league callup. Cashman said the Yankees opted for Tarpley over Sheffield, filling the club's 40-man roster.
"I can't rule out you won't see him up here," Cashman said. "Obviously we took who we took as of yesterday. We'll be taking others as we move forward in September and if that number gets called, we'll certainly let you know. ... If we have some wiggle room as we move forward, we'll try to create an opportunity because we're really high on the player. His time will be coming but it's obviously not on Sept. 1."
This date in Yankees history
Sept. 1, 1961: Three consecutive ninth-inning singles by Elston Howard, Yogi Berra and Moose Skowron gave the Yankees a 1-0 victory over the Tigers at Yankee Stadium. Whitey Ford, Bud Daley and Luis Arroyo combined on the shutout.