Newly arrived Arizona SS shut down by elbow injury
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Didi Gregorius, considered Arizona's shortstop of the future, has a right elbow injury that has prevented him from throwing or batting for the past month.
Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers revealed the injury at a briefing with reporters Tuesday.
He said Gregorius felt discomfort in the elbow while working out a month ago in preparation for the World Baseball Classic. Gregorius was flown from his home in Curacao to Arizona, where an examination found a slight strain of the ulnar collateral ligament, Towers said.
He said that the injury does not require surgery and that Gregorius should be able to begin light throwing and hitting off a tee in a couple of weeks.
Towers conceded it is unlikely Gregorius would make the opening day roster.
"I think it was probably a longshot anyway," Towers said. "We wanted him to come up and compete with (Cliff) Pennington and Johnny Mac (McDonald) and Willie (Bloomquist), but he's got less than a full season at Double-A or Triple-A and less than a month in the big leagues."
Gregorius was acquired from Cincinnati by Arizona as part of the three-team trade that sent right-hander Trevor Bauer, a former No. 1 overall pick in the draft, from the Diamondbacks to Cleveland. The 22-year-old shortstop already is considered major league ready defensively but not necessarily at the plate.
"With the glove and stuff he's ready right now," Towers said, "but it's not going to hurt him to get more ABs (at-bats) probably in the minor leagues before he's up here. We don't view him as a bench player so when he comes up here we want him to play. We've got a couple of good veterans this year that can handle the position."
The search for a shortstop that could fill the spot long-term consumed much of Towers' offseason, including attempts to nab one in any deal involving Justin Upton. The trade of Upton to Atlanta brought versatile infielder Martin Prado to Arizona. He's expected to play third base, another area of need for the Diamondbacks.