Didi Gregorius is on the cusp of a return to the Phillies’ lineup and that’s beneficial at the plate, but what about in the field.
Defense has been a season-long issue for the Phillies (they committed two more errors Wednesday) and Ronald Torreyes’ glove has gone a long way in solidifying things at shortstop. Torreyes has started 29 games at short as Gregorius has dealt with an elbow injury.
But even though the Phillies are weak defensively and there figures to be some slippage moving from Torreyes back to Gregorius, Didi is still the guy.
“When Didi comes back, he’s our shortstop,” manager Joe Girardi said Wednesday. “And I thought Didi’s defense improved a lot once we got by those first three weeks. Didi’s our shortstop.
“I will use Torreyes. We’ll have to manage Didi when he comes back. It’s not like I’m going to run him out there seven days in a row. And I’m going to have to manage (Jean Segura’s) playing time too, coming off of a leg injury.”
Torreyes will still play regularly. When the Phillies are leading, he’d make obvious sense as a defensive replacement at shortstop for Gregorius or at third base for Alec Bohm, who has 12 errors and clanged a routine double-play ball in Wednesday's loss.
“To’s still going to play,” Girardi said. “I feel comfortable doing anything with him.”
Gregorius struggled early in the season, seeming to compensate for lost range by playing deeper. He did improve before falling on his elbow in St. Louis.
He’s appeared in seven rehab games with Triple A Lehigh Valley and gone 9 for 18. He played shortstop in consecutive games Tuesday and Wednesday and the plan is for him to DH Thursday then be reevaluated. He could be back with the Phillies this weekend at home against the Padres, or early next week when they go to Wrigley Field.
In a small sample of 32 games this season, Gregorius has hit .229/.266/.364, a far cry from last summer’s .284/.339/.488. He drove in 40 runs in the shortened 2020 season and hit .345 with runners in scoring position. The Phillies signed him to a two-year, $28 million contract in early February.
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