New York Yankees fans have had to watch so many injuries, rehabs and “minor” issues go haywire over the past few years that they’re conditioned to expect complications.
But perhaps not in the case of Gio Urshela? A fan can dream, at least.
The wizard-like third baseman shocked fans, to an extent, when he revealed in an Instagram post on Dec. 4 that he’d undergone surgery to remove a troublesome bone chip in his elbow.
He played through it all year, but the natural course of action was always surgery. We just…I don’t know…expected that surgery to occur a little closer to season’s end? This December date seemed to put Urshela’s timeline close enough to Opening Day to give us pause.
Don’t fret just yet — or, at least, temporarily pause your fretting.
Urshela’s path to the pinstripes was recently adjusted from “Opening Day” to “March 4 debut,” and that became official Thursday when interim manager Carlos Mendoza penciled him into the Yankees lineup for a pair of at-bats.
When will Gio Urshela return to the Yankees?
If all goes well over the next three weeks or so, Urshela will still be the team’s Opening Day third baseman and way-too-good No. 9 hitter, as God intended.
The ripple effects of Urshela’s potential immediate availability are manifold. Miguel Andújar, DHing in Thursday’s action, may not have a path to a roster spot if the team’s starting third baseman is healthy. Ditto for fan favorite Derek Dietrich, who won’t have a place on a four-man bench unless Mike Tauchman is traded (Kyle Higashioka, Brett Gardner, Tauchman, and the unfortunately essential Tyler Wade are projected to make the roster at the moment).
If you’d like to watch Urshela in action Thursday (and who wouldn’t?!), this game is televised by NBC Sports Philadelphia.
Here’s how the rest of the squad lines up:
It’s a somewhat underwhelming lineup, buoyed in large part by four-five innings of defensive mastery at third and a few at-bats.
Based on the Urshela we’ve seen at camp thus far, his arm is all systems go. Thursday, he takes the next step.