Gregorius cleared for baseball activities
Yankees shortstop expected to play before end of regular season
ST. PETERSBURG -- Didi Gregorius has been adamant that he will return to the lineup before the end of the regular season, and the Yankees are beginning to share that optimism.
Gregorius was cleared to resume baseball activities on Wednesday after having his right wrist examined by a specialist. Gregorius participated in soft toss and tee work in the batting cage and took ground balls at shortstop at Tropicana Field in what manager Aaron Boone called "definitely an encouraging step."
"Everybody plays through everything," Gregorius said. "That's why you want to keep going and be out there for the team. As soon as they let me play, I'm going to be in there."
Boone said that he is aiming for Gregorius to appear in the Yankees' upcoming series against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.
"That would be ideal," Boone said. "We'll see how he responds and what the doctors are telling us, and then we'll go from there. Hopefully that means getting him in there this weekend, but we'll just have to wait and see how it all unfolds and how he's able to bounce back from the workload."
Boone said that even if Gregorius does not play in Boston, it would not necessarily rule him out from appearing on the American League Wild Card Game roster. Though Gregorius has said that he would like to play immediately, Boone cautioned that the Yankees are "still not out of the woods" with his injury.
"We're in the early stages of it," Boone said. "We've got to see how this day unfolds and how he responds, but hopefully he can get to that point where he's full go."
Gregorius sustained a cartilage tear in his right wrist on Saturday and received a cortisone injection on Sunday. Adeiny Hechavarria has been starting at shortstop in Gregorius' absence; he was 1-for-10 with a homer in the role entering Wednesday.
The 28-year-old Gregorius has hit a career-high 27 homers, breaking his own record for the most in a single season by a Yankees shortstop, while batting .268/.336/.498.
'A' for Aaron
Aaron Hicks (tight left hamstring) said that he expects to return to the Yankees' lineup on Friday at Fenway Park.
Hicks hit in the batting cage and ran on a treadmill Wednesday, saying that "everything felt great." Hicks is expected to run the bases on Thursday.
An MRI taken on Monday revealed no tear in the hamstring, which Hicks said had been feeling tight for several days.
"I definitely knew when I was playing with it that I didn't have a tear, but of course it feels good to actually know for sure," Hicks said.
A second Gleyber day
Gleyber Torres (tightness in left hip/groin) could have played on Wednesday, Boone said, but the Yankees decided that another day of rest would be beneficial. Boone said that he anticipates that Torres will play in Thursday's series finale against the Rays.
"I feel like he's good to go," Boone said. "I decided coming over [to the ballpark] that, especially being on the turf, I wanted to give him one more day. He said there was no tightness at all today, but I just think it's the smart thing to do to really stay ahead of this."
This date in Yankees history
Sept. 26, 2013: In his final career appearance, Mariano Rivera is removed from the game by Derek Jeter and Andy Pettitte, who come out of the dugout with two outs in the ninth inning to make the pitching change. The Yankees lose to the Rays, 4-0, at Yankee Stadium.