Yankees top positional prospect Gleyber Torres has made a meteoric rise through the minor-league system. The 20-year-old was promoted to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this week after spending a mere 32 games with Double-A Trenton. Still, for him to play in the big leagues before September, it’s going to take an urgent need.
“I’m not looking at Gleyber right now at the major-league side. Just looking at Gleyber taking the next step at Triple-A,” general manager Brian Cashman said at Thursday’s Hope Week event at the Stadium. “Just like I know when we were faced with ‘are you going to bring up Gleyber because Didi’s down?’ the answer was ‘no — we’re not going to interrupt his player development process.’ ”
Cashman added that he plans to monitor Torres’ progress daily but “not how he is, in the near-term, going to fit with the big club.”
An urgent need has the potential to change that, though.
“There’s only two ways for him to get up here: Either he forces his way up here or there’s an injury and he’s the recommendation to fill in even though his development might not be finished off,” Cashman said. “It’s possible. It happens all the time. ‘Hey, we’d rather him stay down but the need is there.’ So he’s the best alternative.”
Cashman said such a need came when Didi Gregorius first started playing shortstop for the Yankees after Derek Jeter’s retirement, explaining “he wasn’t a finished product — he couldn’t hit lefties.” When something like that happens, the club decides whether the player has the mental makeup to continue developing in the big leagues.
Torres will split time almost evenly between third base, shortstop and second base, just as he did with Trenton.
Is there an urgent need in the offing? Yankees third baseman Chase Headley has a .111/.127/.185 slash line in his last 15 games, but the team went 8-7 in that span, so it doesn’t appear all that urgent.
Cashman unsure how long Ellsbury will be out
Cashman said it is too early to tell whether Jacoby Ellsbury, who was placed on the seven-day concussion disabled list after hitting the centerfield wall while making a catch in the first inning of Wednesday night’s win over the Royals, will need more than the one-week minimum. Aaron Hicks will start in centerfield and Rob Refsnyder will fill Ellsbury’s spot on the active roster.
On the first pitch of Wednesday night’s game, Ellsbury ran down Alcides Escobar’s drive to center and snared it an instant before hitting the wall. Though he stayed in the game for the remainder of the inning, he then was removed and diagnosed with the concussion and a sprained neck.
“You know those concussion things: Hopefully it can clear up quick, but I am not going to presume that it will,’’ Cashman said. “They are all based on the patient and how they are responding over time, and sometimes it lingers.”
Refsnyder has hit .303 in 33 games with Scranton but is unlikely to see much playing time over Hicks, Aaron Judge and Brett Gardner, all of whom have an OPS of at least .890.
When will Yanks take a Chance?
Righthander Chance Adams, recently promoted to Triple-A, remains just a phone call away from contributing for the Yankees, but there has to be a need. The 22-year-old is 5-1 with a 1.15 ERA in eight starts between Double-A Trenton and Scranton and 21-3 with a 1.97 ERA in three minor-league seasons. When could it happen? Said Cashman, “When we make a phone call and there is a need and they say he’s the best guy.”