Didi Gregorius is expected to make his 2019 debut Friday in Cleveland, Yankees manager Aaron Boone told WFAN's Mike Francesa on Thursday.
The shortstop underwent Tommy John surgery in October after tearing a ligament in his right elbow during last year's American League Division Series against the Red Sox. The Yankees had put his timetable to return at anywhere from June to August, meaning he's coming back on the earliest side of that projection.
"Didi is off today and headed to Cleveland with the idea that he will be activated tomorrow and in our lineup," Boone said.
Gregorius' return will create some juggling with the lineup. Gleyber Torres, usually a second baseman, has been filling in for Gregorius at shortstop, while DJ LeMahieu has handled second-base duties and Gio Urshela has started at third base. All three of those infielders have played very well, with LeMahieu and Urshela hitting over .300. Boone said LeMahieu will see time at third and first.
"Most of our guys, especially as Didi comes back, even though he's played a lot and had a lot of at-bats, he's still only played two days in a row in the field, so he'll get built up kind of slowly, where he'll be playing probably two out of three initially and then built up to three and four days in a row," Boone said. "So there's an off day there every few days, where somebody's in there."
In other injury news:
• Boone said he believes it's possible that Aaron Judge (oblique) will be back for the games in London against the Red Sox at the end of the month, but he was reluctant to call it a "timetable."
• Giancarlo Stanton (biceps, shoulder, calf) has been taking live batting practice at the team's facility in Tampa, Florida, and "should be really close to getting back into some game action."
• Dellin Betances (shoulder) threw to hitters in Tampa on Thursday and could begin a rehab assignment as early as next week.
• Troy Tulowitzki has "pretty much healed from the (calf) injury but (is) having a hard time getting to that finish line," Boone said. The Yankees have allowed Tulowitzki to go home for a couple of days to "just kind of try and sort some things out," the manager said.
• Luis Severino (shoulder) is in the early days of throwing again.
To listen to Francesa's interview with Boone, click on the audio player above.