DETROIT — Aaron Boone already had a fairly high opinion of Ronald Torreyes.
As an ESPN analyst, Boone admired the 5-8, 151-pound infielder from afar, particularly during the first month of the 2017 season, when Torreyes’ play at shortstop helped the Yankees absorb the blow of losing Didi Gregorius to an injury.
“I came in with an impression that this guy can play,” Boone said Saturday.
But that doesn’t mean that as Torreyes’ manager, Boone hasn’t experienced an uptick of admiration for the 25-year-old, who hit .292 as a super-utility player a year ago.
“I think what really impressed me was that first week we had where he didn’t see the field,” Boone said. “We’re dealing with some weather issues so it’s not [getting] your normal work, so he sat over there for six days without seeing the field, without an at-bat, without anything. Then we throw him in that first day and it’s like just . . . he does all the right things.”
That first day was April 4 against Tampa Bay, when Torreyes started at second and went 1-for-3 with an RBI. Three days later, Torreyes, again starting at second, had three hits in a victory over Baltimore.
Torreyes, who started at second before moving to third in Friday night’s victory over the Tigers, went 3-for-4 and is 9-for-21 (.429) in eight games.
“Maybe I grew a greater appreciation for him then,” Boone said, “but I came in with a pretty high opinion of him.”
With the struggles of Tyler Wade and Miguel Andujar at the plate — Andujar did have two hits Friday — even more opportunities for Torreyes could be in the offing.
“The major league season has a way of working itself out to where the guys that should be out there are usually out there,” Boone said. “Fortunately for us, we’ve got Ronald, and when he’s had his opportunities here early, he’s made the most of them.”