Shortstop Set To Begin Minor League Rehab Stint Friday, Catcher Expected To Start Throwing On Wednesday

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Lost in the impressiveness of the Yankees’ fast start is the fact that they have done it without the services of their two best offensive players.

Didi Gregorius and Gary Sanchez played no role in the Bombers’ eight-game winning streak that lifted the club out of a 1-4 hole. Though the Yankees lost to the White Sox, 4-1, on Tuesday night, they are tied for first place in the AL East with Baltimore and Boston.

According to WFAN’s Sweeny Murti, the Yankees may get their injured shortstop and catcher back soon.

Gregorius, who is coming off a career year in 2016, suffered a shoulder strain during the World Baseball Classic in March and is expected to be out until the end of April. Gregorius is set to begin a minor league rehabilitation assignment on Friday, play seven of eight games for Class A Tampa and, if all goes well, rejoin the Yankees around May 1.

“I think you can think about Didi because realistically he should be here quicker than Gary,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “He’s ahead of him. But you still have 10 days or so to go probably before you get Didi back, so you don’t want to look too far ahead.”

sanchez Yankees Gregorius, Sanchez Inching Closer To Return

Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez hits a home run against the Toronto Blue Jays on Aug. 16, 2016, at Yankee Stadium. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Arguably the most impressive prospect to come through the Bombers’ system in the last 20 years, Sanchez went down with a right biceps strain on April 8 in Baltimore. Though the slugging catcher was initially slated to be sidelined until the second week of May, he has started to swing the bat with one arm and it is possible he could start throwing on Wednesday, Murti reported.

Girardi sounded equally optimistic when asked Tuesday if Sanchez would be out another three weeks.

“Maybe. Maybe two. Maybe one,” Girardi said.

In the interim, the Yankees will continue to use Ronald Torreyes as their primary shortstop and Austin Romine as the starting catcher. Both have filled in admirably.

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