The New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies are playing a spring training game in Tampa on Monday.
The Phillies’ shortstop is Didi Gregorius, who happens to be a fan favorite in New York.
Gregorius spent several seasons with the Bombers, from 2015 to 2019, and several of them were really impressive.
For example, he posted 15.5 Wins Above Replacement (WAR) in those five seasons in the Bronx, although that’s FanGraphs’ version.
But his play really fell off a cliff in two of his last three seasons, both defensively and offensively.
Nevertheless, Yankees fans love Gregorius.
“Didi gets a warm welcome from Yankees fans,” was a tweet from Talkin’ Yanks, coupled with a video of fans showering him with an ovation and the player tipping his helmet as a sign of respect and gratitude.
Didi gets a warm welcome from Yankees fans pic.twitter.com/yCWw2Pu4Bt
— Talkin' Yanks (@TalkinYanks) March 21, 2022
He Was Very Popular With The Yankees
During his time with the Yankees, Gregorius was a popular teammate and a very active social media user.
His game recaps earned him a lot of fans in New York.
As a clubhouse and dugout presence, he is badly missed.
As a player, however, he is not really a difference-maker anymore.
Last year, he posted a putrid .209/.270/.370 line in 408 plate appearances, with some really unimpressive numbers in hard-hit percentage and exit velocity.
They ended up striking out in any potential upgrades, and Gregorius is set to return to being the Phillies’ starting shortstop.
The 32-year-old is aging and probably past his prime, but the notion of him having a bounceback season is not far-fetched.
That’s probably the Phillies’ most burning desire with the 2022 campaign about to start.