TAMPA, Fla. — Brian Cashman has heard your pleas. You want Gleyber Torres to replace the injured Didi Gregorius as the Yankees’ Opening Day shortstop, even if you never have seen Torres play and aren’t sure how to pronounce his first name.
For the record, it’s GLAY-ber. And also for the record: Torres will not be the Yankees’ shortstop April 2 at Tampa Bay.
“Gleyber Torres will not be considered for that position,” Cashman said Tuesday after news broke that Gregorius would miss at least the first month of the season because of a shoulder injury. “Despite how great (Torres) has looked and how his Fall League went and how his first major-league camp has gone. That’s all tremendous, but he’s scheduled to go to Double-A Trenton.”
He’s on his way, because after Tuesday night’s game the Yankees re-assigned Torres to Trenton.
Torres, 20, was batting .448 after striking out in his only at-bat in the 4-2 loss to the Red Sox. He was the MVP of the Arizona Fall League, but he also never has played above Class A.
“I pride ourselves on being open-minded and aggressive,” Cashman said. “But I’d like to be cautious, too, especially on a 20-year-old that’s never played above A ball. Despite how good he looks, how mature he appears, especially with a high-ceiling prospect, because I don’t think it’s the right play to close that gap from no Double-A, no Triple-A, and jump somebody into the major-league level ahead of a bunch of other guys to fill an injury need. You usually don’t handle your high-end players at 20 years of age that way, and it’s not something I would advocate and it’s not something we’re going to be doing.”
The Yankees are considering five players to replace Gregorius: second baseman Starlin Castro, who would slide over (and create an opening at second); utilityman Ronald Torreyes; non-roster veterans Ruben Tejada and Pete Kozma, and prospect Tyler Wade, who never has played above Double-A and was ticketed to be the shortstop at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
So why Wade and not Torres? Wade is 22 and also having a stellar camp, batting .394 while moving around the diamond from infield to outfield. The Yankees envision Wade as at least a future big-league jack-of-all-trades. But now he’s squarely in the Opening Day shortstop mix.
“He’s had a good camp,” Cashman said. “But listen, you’d rather not have to rely on your depth regardless of how deep or how ready it may or may not be. You’d rather play with the big boy. But that’s not the case.”
Notes & quotes: Rotation candidate Bryan Mitchell allowed two runs in 4 1⁄3 innings. He gave up seven hits, walked none and struck out seven. “He was OK,” Joe Girardi said . . . Matt Holliday hit his fourth home run and second in two days . . . Chris Sale went six innings for Boston and struck out 10 . . . Dellin Betances returned from the World Baseball Classic.