We are only a week and a half into the 2015 regular season and the most talked about Yankee hasn’t been Alex Rodriguez, who has returned to the team following a 2014 suspension. It’s Didi Gregorius. Unfortuntely for Gregorius, he hasn’t gotten off on the right foot with the fans.
Over the offseason, the Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks and Detroit Tigers were trade partners, the Yankees sending RHP Shane Greene to the Tigers and the Diamondbacks sending the Yankees Gregorius. The trade seemed innocent enough–acquire a young talent to replace the legendary Derek Jeter at the position of shortstop. But one week into the season, it seems Gregorius has let the pressure of replacing Jeter get to him, which has hindered his offense, defense and baserunning ability.
While Gregorius has floundered under the bright lights of New York, Shane Greene has found his niche at and has done an exceptional job in the Detroit Tigers rotation. Now, we’re not going to declare the winner of this three-team trade because it’s far too early for that, but after a week of play let’s see where both Greene and Gregorius stand.
Didi Gregorius: In nine games with the Yankees, Gregorius is .174/.219/.391 with no HR’s, 2 RBI’s, one walk, one stolen base, one caught stealing and one error. Clearly, Gregorius hasn’t done much on offense, defense or the basepaths to give the Yankees the boost they’ve been looking for at the bottom of the order. Players like Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury share the same qualities as Gregorius–they’re not power-hitters, although out of the three Gardner is more likely to hit the ball out of the park, they play good defense and have speed. When neither Gardner or Ellsbury are hitting, they contribute with their keen eye and their defense. Gregorius on the other hand has played all-around bad baseball and can’t seem to catch a break.
Shane Greene: In 16 innings this season, Greene has a 2-0 record with a 0.00 ERA, a 0.500 WHIP and has only given up one walk. Last season, Greene had enormous promise and he could have been in competition for the fifth starter spot had he not been traded. With Greene showing this much promise, you wonder what could have become of him. Is Greene another player that the Yankees let get away to the Detroit Tigers? Or is it too early to declare Greene a reliable pitcher in the Tigers rotation?
After nine games, it’s far too early to pass judgement on Gregorius and he isn’t the first Yankee replacing a legend to struggle: After replacing Don Mattingly, Tino Martinez was booed into oblivion for a poor April in 1996. Now Martinez is one of the most respected players in the Yankees franchise.
I’m not saying Gregorius is going to hit like Tino Martinez, but I have belief Gregorius is better than what he’s shown on the field these last nine games. We just have to give Gregorius some time to adjust.