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SportsColumnistsAnthony Rieber

Gleyber Torres deserves a shot at the Yankees’ big-league lineup

The team’s top prospect is hitting .372 in Triple-A and the Yanks’ lineup could use a fresh bat.

Yankees infielder Gleyber Torres works out during spring

Yankees infielder Gleyber Torres works out during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla., on Feb. 20. Photo Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

It’s Gleyber time.

The Yankees haven’t said it, but their lineup in Thursday night’s 4-3 win over the Blue Jays practically screamed that it’s time for top prospect Gleyber Torres to be called up from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Fans already are screaming for the 21-year-old with the .372 Triple-A batting average to get the call. It could come soon — as in “keep hitting refresh” soon.

Really, it can’t come soon enough, assuming Torres is over the back stiffness that forced him out of a game on Monday. He returned on Wednesday and Scranton was off on Thursday.

It’s a 130-mile drive from Scranton’s home ballpark in lovely Moosic, Pennsylvania, to Yankee Stadium. General manager Brian Cashman should call Torres on Friday. Then Torres should call a cab.

Or are the Yankees really committed to more time for spring training sensation Tyler Wade, who went 0-for-3 with an RBI groundout on Thursday, is hitless in his last 19 at-bats and is a career .129 hitter in 93 big-league at-bats?

The Yankees faced the Blue Jays with three men in their lineup — Wade, Neil Walker and Giancarlo Stanton — who came in hitless in their last 45 at-bats combined.

Stanton (1-for-3, walk) will be OK.

Walker (1-for-3, double) should be OK.

Wade should be in Triple-A.

Torres, a natural shortstop, has been playing mostly third for Scranton, but he easily could slide into the second-base slot in the Bronx. It makes too much sense not to happen.

Here’s what manager Aaron Boone said about Torres in an afternoon appearance on WFAN: “He’s obviously a guy that we regard highly in our organization and feel like he’s really close to being able to impact our club . . . not only in the short term, but also for a long time to come. So we want to make sure when we go to him that he’s in a really good place and ready to come out and be able to potentially help us permanently.”

In any league, .372 is a pretty good place.

The Yankees also could call up Torres to play third and ship Miguel Andujar to Triple-A for more seasoning, although Andujar’s recent play suggests he is starting to figure out big-league pitching.

Andujar, whom the Yankees consider raw defensively, went 6-for-12 in the previous three games and had six extra-base hits, including his first big-league homer on Tuesday.

On Thursday, Boone started Ronald Torreyes at third over Andujar so the Yankees could have better defense with CC Sabathia starting and throwing cutters to the Blue Jays.

The way the Yankees have been playing defense this season — poorly — going with the better glove for a game was a reasonable move.

It paid off when Torreyes made a couple of nice plays, including a diving stop, to aid Sabathia in the second inning. But the pint-size super-sub committed a throwing error in the fourth, the Yankees’ American League-worst 18th of the season. That led to an unearned run.

Torreyes also went 1-for-2 with a two-out RBI single and a walk and is batting .393. He has 10 hits in his last 21 at-bats.

“He got a big hit to get us up 2-0 there,” Boone said. “I thought he played really well at third. He had the error on a play that I thought he reacted perfectly on. Hard-hit ball, drops it, doesn’t panic, picks it up. But he kind of forgot to move his feet and doesn’t make a good throw. But I thought he made a lot of good plays over there at third base and good at-bats for Toe tonight. He played a big part in the win.”

Still, Torreyes is not an everyday answer. Torres, who missed most of last season after elbow surgery, could be. He’s not just knocking on the door, he’s kicking it down. It’s time for the Yankees to let him in.

New York Sports