New York Yankees

Didi Gregorius back in action for Yankees, comes out swinging

Didi Gregorius came off the injured list Friday for the Yankees, and he has wasted no time trying to make an impact.

The New York Yankees got another one of their injured players back on Friday. Eight months after Tommy John surgery, shortstop Didi Gregorius was activated from the 60-day IL and immediately put into the lineup at the No. 5 spot Friday night against the Cleveland Indians.

In corresponding moves to clear a spot on the 40-man roster, Troy Tulowitzki was transferred from the 10-day IL to the 60-day IL and Thairo Estrada was sent down to Triple-A on Thursday.

Gregorius hit a career-high 27 home runs last year, with a career-best .829 OPS and a career-high 89 runs scored (.268/.335/.494 slash-line) That was his third straight season with at least 20 home runs, and second straight with more than 85 RBI.

In the top of the second inning Friday night, Gregorius wasted no time getting back in the swing of things. He hit a sharp line drive to right field on the first pitch he saw from Indians’ starter Zach Plesac, then was thrown out trying to stretch his single into a double.

Just before news of his activation officially came on Friday, Gregorius tweeted out a cool digital cartoon he designed himself.

In the top of the fourth inning, Gregorius reached on an infield single in his second at-bat. He was erased on a less than routine-looking double play, as he was caught in a rundown, but Gregorius started his 2019 campaign 2-for-2.

The Yankees are starting to get healthy, with Aaron Judge (oblique) possibly returning at the end of the month and Giancarlo Stanton (calf/bicep) set to re-start a rehab assignment. But the return of Gregorius is perhaps the most important, since he’s been harder to replace in a broad sense.

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Update: Gregorius flied out in his third at-bat, so no more perfect batting average.

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