New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius may have suffered an unfortunate injury, but the World Baseball Classic isn’t to blame.
The New York Yankees have mere weeks to go before Opening Day and the excitement is building at the opportunity to see this newly rebuilt team take the field. However, that team will be without their starting shortstop, Didi Gregorius.
After participating in the World Baseball Classic these past few weeks, Gregorius left Team Netherlands on Monday due to a shoulder injury. After initial tests, Gregorius was diagnosed with a subscapular strain in his right shoulder, which will likely have him missing the month of April.
So here come the townsfolk with pitchforks and flaming torches to crucify that silly tournament that essentially means nothing. The WBC is to blame!
But wait…not so fast. Is the WBC really to blame, or was it just a freak injury that could have occurred during any routine spring training game?
Yankees manager Joe Girardi states that Gregorius injured his shoulder while turning a double play from the second base position, which could very well be true. While it does take a different motion to release the ball from the other side of the bag, Gregorius has taken that angle before.
His range at shortstop has carried him over to that side of the bag and he has made that play before. The chances of one double play being the cause of such an injury are highly unlikely.
The truth is, yes, he very well could have received a similar injury had he stayed in Tampa with the Yankees. While he has played a little more, the overuse on the shoulder could’ve been a culprit in why he sustained the injury.
However, the major blame is being placed on the “useless tournament” and, therefore, that has to be the reason. Well, guess what? Fans are looking for a scapegoat and that WBC is staring us right in the face.
If Gregorius had to be taken out of spring training with such an injury, Yankees fans would find someone to blame anyway. Just the fact that he decided to play in the WBC arms fans with an excuse for anything that goes wrong. They are looking for a reason why this happened when, in reality, there isn’t one.
What about his massive power show he’s put on in the tournament? The .348 batting average? The eight runs he’s driven in over the course of six games? Is that because of the World Baseball Classic?
If you want to find someone to blame, think about this; it was a freak injury that anyone in the tournament could’ve had. It just so happens that Didi Gregorius was the recipient of this unfortunate injury.
Managers can fear their players going to the WBC for this very reason, especially right before the season starts. Whether he was at spring training or playing for the title of Mr. New York (next year Didi, we promise), he likely would have succumbed to a similar injury due to overuse.
On the bright side, it could be far worse. We’ve seen more injuries in spring training this year than we have in the World Baseball Classic. Different city, same sport.
Blame the World Baseball Classic because you don’t like it. Blame the World Baseball Classic because it isn’t set up properly (I’m looking at you, Robby Sabo). However, if you blame the World Baseball Classic for Didi Gregorius’ shoulder issues, you’re just looking to find a reason when there is none.