It comes up now and again and did once more Wednesday.
And Aaron Boone’s answer each time has remained the same: For the most part, rookie Gleyber Torres is staying put in the nine-hole.
“Our lineup and how it sets up, I just think the nine-hole is such a valuable spot in our order because of our team,” Boone said before Wednesday night’s game in which Torres again hit ninth.
The 21-year-old, who has hit there in 35 of the 44 games he’s appeared in, counting Wednesday, entered the day is hitting .296 with 12 homers and 30 RBIs and a .919 OPS.
“There will be a select day, maybe in the coming days, frankly, where I could hit him fifth or sixth,” Boone said. “But to move him [up] a spot or two . . . I think his value in that nine-hole is significant, and I think it’s played out that way where he’s come up in a lot of big situations in that spot. And also as we turn over our lineup ahead of Gardy [Brett Gardner] and [Aaron] Judge, in essence in a lot of cases it does become like a second leadoff hitter down there.”
Boone reiterated it has nothing to do with not wanting to put too much pressure on Torres.
“I’m not protecting him by any means,” Boone said. “He’s a good player and wherever I hit him I don’t worry about him.”
Slumping Bird bats seventh in order
Boone flipped a pair of his lefty hitters Wednesday night, dropping the struggling Greg Bird to seventh in the order and putting Didi Gregorius third.
“Just kind of slept on it and felt like it made the most sense,” Boone said. “Just felt like this way made the most sense for right now.”
Bird entered Wednesday hitting .176 with a .629 OPS this season while the resurgent Gregorius was hitting .313 with a .790 OPS in his previous 12 games, including Wednesday when he homered twice.