Didi Gregorius continued his impressive 2017 season with a two- hit, three-RBI performance in the Yankees 4-3 loss to the Tigers on Tuesday.
The shortstop had the day off on Monday but he didn’t think that had any advantage with his production on Tuesday.
“Not really,” Gregorius said after the game. “I’m the type of guy that wants to play every day. If I get a day off, I get a day off but it means I’m not on the field, but I’m still working here in the cage and doing everything.”
Gregorius hit a two-run homer to right off Anibal Sanchez in the fourth. It was his 17th of the season, only three behind the career-high he set last season. Home runs are up around the majors and Gregorius might very well hit 25 homers but he says his approach at the plate had stayed the same. “I’m not trying to change anything,” Gregorius said. “Just trying to hit line drives all over the place because I’m not considering myself a power hitter If they go out, they go out but I’m trying to hit line drives.”
Gregorius also delivered an RBI single in the eighth. He may not try to hit homers but Gregorius admitted that he does like seeing the ball go over the wall. “I do,” Gregorius said laughing. “After a hard spring, a couple of hard springs, then yeah.”
This is looking like the best season yet for the man who replaced Derek Jeter at shortstop. The Yankees acquired him in a three-team deal that sent Shane Greene to Detroit. Greene recorded a five-out save on Tuesday. Gregorius hit .265 with nine home runs and 56 RBI in 2015. He worked his way up, batting .206 in April, .232 in May, .258 in June and .317 in July.
Last season he hit .276 with 20 home runs and 70 RBI. And he was durable again, playing in 153 games, after playing in 155 in 2015.
He missed the first month of this season because of a World Baseball Classic injury. He returned with some pop and has consistently hit lefties well for the first time. And he’s the only Yankee with a .300 batting average.
There have been a lot of story-lines this season. The young talent, the bullpen, the trade deadline. But Gregorius has quietly been one of the best Yankees this season.