New York Yankees third baseman Gio Urshela had surgery Friday to remove a bone chip from his right elbow, and the team stated his expected recovery time is three months.
Urshela is likely to miss about half of spring training, which starts in mid-February, and will have just a few weeks to get into shape ahead of the opener versus Toronto on April 1. Yankees head team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad operated at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.
Urshela was bothered by his throwing arm for much of the pandemic-shortened campaign. He was placed on the 10-day injured list with a bone spur in his right elbow on Sept. 4 and was activated Sept. 15 after missing 11 games.
General manager Brian Cashman stated on Oct. 14, five days after the playoff-ending loss to Tampa Bay, that Urshela did not need surgery.
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New York purchased the contract of slick-fielding Urshela from Toronto for $1 on Aug. 4, 2018, and he became the Yankees’ regular third baseman after Miguel Andujar tore the labrum in his right shoulder while sliding headfirst into third base versus Baltimore on March 31, 2019.
Urshela hit .314 with 21 homers and 74 RBIs in 2019, though he finished in a 12-for-58 (.207) slide from Sept. 1 on. He batted .238 (5-for-21) with a pair of solo homers in the five-game division series loss to Houston.
Urshela batted .298 with six homers and 30 RBIs in 151 at-bats during the 2020 season and slumped with 2-for-19 (.105) hitting with no RBIs in the playoffs. Now 29, he is eligible for salary arbitration for the first time.
Should he require more time to rehab, New York could use Tyler Wade or Gleyber Torres at the hot corner in the interim.
If nothing else, the surgery may provide extra incentive for the Yankees to speed up negotiations with free agent DJ LeMahieu, who declined an $18.9 million qualifying offer from New York in November. The reigning MLB batting champion has provided solid defense in the infield for the Yankees and would be a familiar face to restore some depth on the roster.
In the meantime, the focus will remain on Urshela’s rehab and getting him ready to return to the field as soon as possible.
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