first_imgLaMahieu said he’s “definitely excited” to have Gregorious back and reiterated he’s “prepared to play multiple spots.”Gio Urshela and Luke VoitUrshela has been a pleasant surprise at third base after Miguel Andujar’s season-ending surgery. Urshela is playing great defense and batting .323 in 51 games. However, he may see the biggest drop in playing time as Boone juggles the infield to keep LaMahieu in the lineup.As for Voit, the hulking first baseman, he’s powered his way to 15 home runs, 39 RBIs and a special place in the hearts of Yankees fans. He’s likely to lose the occasional day in the field to LaMahieu but should slot in at DH while Giancarlo Stanton (calf) continues to deal with injury. Not that they really needed it, but the Yankees are getting a nice boost to both their infield and lineup Friday against the Indians as shortstop Didi Gregorius will play his first game of 2019.Gregorius has blossomed since becoming the full-time shortstop for New York in 2015. He has batted .274/.319/.447 over four seasons in pinstripes and hit a career-high 27 home runs in 2018. Here’s a deeper look at his long-awaited return from Tommy John surgery in October.What the Yankees are saying about Didi Gregorius’ return”I don’t think I have to tell you guys what a good player he is. I think you guys have seen over the last few years what he’s meant to our club in so many ways. To get a player like him back is exciting.” — Yankees manager Aaron Boone (via )“It is important to give the infielders who have played every day a little bit of a blow, and adding a left-handed bat makes the lineup deeper, which is always a good thing. It is always good to get the leader of the team back.’’ — Reliever Zack Britton (via the New York Post )“It is huge. He is a team leader on and off the field. Having him back in the clubhouse will be fun.’’ — Starting pitcher CC SabathiaWhat to expect when Didi Gregorius returnsConsidering how well the first-place Yankees (39-22) have played without Gregorious, Boone won’t put too much of a burden on the 29-year-old early in his return.Boone has indicated he plans to sit Gregorious one game per series until he feels comfortable with a full workload.What does this mean for other Yankees?Gleyber TorresThe Yankees have been able to get along without Gregorius by playing Torres at shortstop, but Torres has endured some wear and tear and sat out Thursday’s game against Toronto with a “beat up” shoulder.He has played in the field for 59 of the Yankees’ 61 games this season, starting 56, but a shift back to second base (with the occasional start at shortstop) could help him stay healthy. His bat is simply too valuable to put on the shelf as he’s hitting .279/.326/.523 with 14 homers and 31 RBIs.DJ LaMahieuLaMahieu has also thrived with Gregorius rehabbing. The offseason acquisition has been arguably the most valuable offensive weapon for New York batting .323/.371/.480 with seven homers and 40 RBIs while playing second base, third base and first base.Boone told reporters Thursday he plans to continue using LaMahieu’s versatility.“He’s not coming out any time soon,” Boone said (via ). “No. He’ll get his day a week, which I think will be a good thing over the long haul of keeping him fresh. But DJ will be in there.”last_img