TAMPA, Fla. -- Didi Gregorius is expected to miss the first month of the regular season with a strained subscapularis muscle in his throwing shoulder, the Yankees said on Tuesday.
Gregorius sustained the injury while completing a double play in an exhibition game with the Netherlands' World Baseball Classic team on Saturday. A dye contrast MRI showed the strain on Tuesday, and general manager Brian Cashman said he has been told that a full recovery could take six weeks.
"I think it's fair not to expect to see him until the month of May," Cashman said. "When in the month of May? I couldn't tell you. Hopefully, it's early."
Gregorius will not perform any baseball activities for two weeks, followed by a throwing program. The 27-year-old performed well in the Classic, hitting .348 (8-for-23) with four doubles, a home run and eight RBIs in six games while helping the Dutch advance to the semifinals.
"Those are some of the concerns you have when players go to the WBC," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "We always worry about the injury factor. I know it's important to the game, but he's really important to our team, so it's a concern."
Gregorius batted .276 with 20 home runs and 70 RBIs in 153 games for the Yankees last season, setting career highs in hits (155), doubles (32), homers, RBIs and extra-base hits (54). Despite the injury, Gregorius said that he was proud to have participated in the Classic.
"It was a really great experience, just playing with the guys that I played with since we were like 6 years old," Gregorius said. "[The injury] could have happened anywhere. It's not like, because I went to the WBC, it happened. It's not because of that."
With Gregorius set to begin the season on the disabled list, Girardi said the Yankees are considering moving Starlin Castro from second base to shortstop. Castro has played 847 career games at shortstop, though he only made three appearances there last season.
"I'll probably play him a little bit over there in these next 10 days," Girardi said.
Cashman said that Gleyber Torres, the organization's No. 1 prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, is not a candidate to break camp with the big league club. Cashman said that Torres will open the season with Double-A Trenton despite his impressive spring.
"I pride ourselves on being open-minded and progressive, but I'd like to be cautious, too," Cashman said. "Especially with a 20-year-old that has never played above A-ball, despite how good he looks, how mature he appears."
The Yankees will also entertain handing shortstop off to utility man Ronald Torreyes or infield prospect Tyler Wade, who had been slated to open the season as the starting shortstop for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Non-roster invitees Pete Kozma and Ruben Tejada are in the mix as well.
"We'll have some eagle eyes on guys now over the next 10 days to two weeks," Cashman said. "Since they now know that there's a position that's up for grabs, it'll be interesting to see how they respond to that type of competition, too, because there's a vacancy that needs to be filled."