NEW YORK (AP) — Back in the Yankees clubhouse, Didi Gregorius said he expected New York’s success in his absence.
The shortstop was activated from the disabled list after recovering from a strained right shoulder, an injury sustained while playing for the Netherlands in last month’s World Baseball Classic. He was in the lineup at shortstop and batting sixth against Baltimore on Friday night.
“Everybody saw what we did last year in the second half,” he said.
Right fielder Aaron Judge dropped one slot to seventh in the batting order and first baseman Greg Bird to eighth.
“I tried to keep the lineup fairly similar. I think we’ve done a pretty good job of scoring runs with this lineup,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “And I wanted to divide the left-handers up.”
Among the lefties, left fielder Brett Gardner led off, center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury hit cleanup and Bird batted eighth.
Gregorius hit .444 (8 for 18) during a five-game injury rehabilitation assignment with Class A Tampa of the Florida State League.
To clear a roster spot, infielder Pete Kozma was designated for assignment. He was 1 for 9 in 11 games with the Yankees.
Ronald Torreyes was the Yankees’ primary shortstop during Gregorius’ absence and hit .308 with one homer and 13 RBIs.
“Torreyes now will become what he was designed to be,” Girardi said. “He’ll play everywhere — I told him second, short, left, third, right.”