New Phillies SS Didi Gregorius appears to be already bonding with franchise great Larry Bowa at the spring training complex in Clearwater.
Phillies position players’ first spring training workout in Clearwater, Florida, is not for another two weeks, yet new shortstop Didi Gregorius is already hard at work. In fact, he has been there for weeks.
The Phillies signed the 29-year-old, eight-year veteran to a one-year, $14 million contract on December 13, hoping he can both upgrade the team’s offensive production from the infield and match his consecutive top-20 MVP finishes in 2017 and 2018.
So far, Gregorius is doing all the right things to make sure that happens. On Monday, he was spotted working with Phillies Wall of Fame shortstop Larry Bowa in the backfields at the spring training complex, reportedly hitting ground balls to Gregorius, according to Larry Shenk.He
Bowa is one of the team’s six spring guest instructors and also serves as senior advisor to general manager.
He, Gregorius and manager Joe Girardi have a lot in common, among them is all being former members of the New York Yankees, either on the coaching staff or as players.
Bowa was even seen with first base Rhys Hoskins at Gregorius’ introductory press conference. Clearly, the five-time All-Star, two-time Gold Glove Award winner and 1980 World Series champion is invested in Gregorius.
So far, Gregorius has collected 145 doubles, 110 home runs, 417 RBI, 201 walks and a .264/.313/.429 slash line through his 851 games, 660 of which with the Yankees across the 2015-19 seasons.
Prior, the Amsterdam, Netherlands, native played two seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks (2013-14), and debuted as a rookie with the Cincinnati Reds (2012.
The Phillies are not just relying on Gregorius for his bat to be an upgrade over Cesar Hernandez, who is now with the Cleveland Indians. Gregorius’ .987 fielding percentage ranked the best among American League shortstops in 2018.