CLEARWATER, Fla. — Didi Gregorius is healthy again and ready to bet on himself.
The former Yankees shortstop has traded midnight blue pinstripes for red, but he is confident that more than a year removed from Tommy John surgery, he can return to being the kind of player he was previously.
“Yeah, why wouldn’t I be [confident]?” Gregorius said Thursday at the Phillies spring training complex.
Gregorius’ new contract backs up his words. He signed with the Phillies on a one-year deal worth $14 million, which could help reset his value after a down year in 2019.
At this time last year, the 29-year-old was still in the middle of rehabbing his surgically repaired right elbow. He returned to the Yankees on June 7 and struggled to find his rhythm at the plate, batting .238 with a .718 OPS in 82 games.
“Everybody [was] mid-form already and now I’m just starting,” he said. “I didn’t have a lot of games to play before I came back. That’s one of those things I was going through.”
It was much different than how Gregorius had performed the previous three years. From 2016-18, the slick-fielding shortstop hit .277 with 72 home runs and a .791 OPS….