Yankees option Thairo Estrada to make room for Didi Gregorius


With Didi Gregorius expected to rejoin the Yankees on Friday, Thairo Estrada was optioned to Triple-A. Estrada more than proved he’s big league ready, but the Yanks rather he continues his development than become a bench player.

To say that infielder Thairo Estrada exceeded expectations in 25 games with the Yankees this season may be a bit of an understatement.

The 23-year-old Venezuelan-native slashed a solid .280/.321/.580 with 10 runs scored, three doubles, three home runs and 11 RBIs in 50 at-bats since being promoted on April 20.

He also flexed his defensive versatility, spending time at second base, shortstop, right field and left field. Across 127 innings, Estrada committed only one error (at short), totaling 17 putouts and 13 assists for a fielding percentage of .980.

However, with everyday shortstop, Didi Gregorius set to be activated from the IL on Friday in time to face the Indians, someone from the 25-man roster needed to go.

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And while many thought Kendrys Morales would be the odd man out, considering he’s hitting .157 with one homer and four RBIs in 51 at-bats (16 games), not to mention the 13-year veteran is limited to first base or a DH role, the Yankees must have felt compelled about allowing Estrada to polish his emerging game every day at Triple-A.

While Estrada has undoubtedly opened many eyes, considering he missed most of the 2018 season after suffering a gunshot wound to the leg the previous offseason, he’s certainly upped his stock, both in terms of organizational depth and overall trade value.

The addition of Gregorius’ leadership and left-handed bat will hopefully have an immediate impact on Yankees team that has lost their last 3-of-4. And although it may take time for Sir Didi to find his rhythm, there’s no doubt his teammates are pumped for his return — as C.C. Sabathia and Zack Britton told George A. King of the New York Post.

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"“It is huge,’’ CC Sabathia said of Gregorius returning. “He is team leader on and off the field. Having him back in the clubhouse will be fun.’’“It is important to give the infielders who have played every day a little bit of a blow, and adding a left-handed bat makes the lineup deeper, which is always a good thing,’’ Britton said. “It is always good to get the leader of the team back.’’"