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Injured Yanks shortstop Gregorius expected to miss season’s first month

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    Netherlands’ designated hitter Didi Gregorius hit a three-run home-run off Israel’s pitcher Danny Burawa during the fourth inning of their second-round game at the World Baseball Classic at Tokyo Dome in Tokyo on March 13.

TAMPA, Fla. >> New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius is expected to miss the first month of the regular season because of a strained right shoulder.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said today that Gregorius is likely to be sidelined six weeks. Opening day for the Yankees is April 2 at Tampa Bay.

Gregorius was hurt while turning a double play for the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic. He returned to the Yankees’ spring camp this week.

The timetable for Gregorius would have him back in the lineup in early May, although Cashman said it could be sooner or later than that. Gregorius won’t do any baseball activities for two weeks.

“It’s someone we’re going to miss,” manager Joe Girardi said before Tuesday night’s game against Boston. “Guys are going to have to step up.”

The 27-year-old Gregorius hit .276 with 20 home runs and 70 RBIs last season.

The Yankees have backup shortstops Ronald Torreyes and Ruben Tejada in camp, along with utilityman Tyler Wade and top prospect Gleyber Torres. Cashman said Torres will not be in the mix for the opening.

Second baseman Starlin Castro will likely get some time at short over the final week and a half of spring training.

Cashman said Gregorius had a dye contrast MRI exam and there were no rips or tears.

Gregorius hit .348, driving in eight runs and scoring five in the WBC.

“Injuries are a part of baseball,” Cashman said.

BETANCES BACK

Reliever Dellin Betances returned after playing for the Dominican Republic in the WBC and said the experience “was more” than he expected. The Dominican Republic played its opening games in Miami before going to San Diego for the second round.

“Miami was intense,” he said. “The crowds, definitely on our side in Miami. San Diego was fun as well. Overall, a fun experience.”

Betances had the option to play for the United States, but chose the Dominican Republic to honor his parents.

“The love I got from the Dominican fans, that was unbelievable,” Betances said. “The fan experience in Miami, I don’t think I’ve played in a ballgame like the Miami games.”

Betances said he would “definitely love to play again” in the WBC.

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