The New York Yankees’ 25th roster spot belongs to one of baseball’s most delightful success story of 2016.
No one has had a more frustrating, yet delightful journey to the majors than New York Yankees‘ utility infielder Ronald Torreyes.
The 23-year old has been with seven organizations in his career (five in the past year) and only has 15 major league at bats to show for it.
Originally, Torreyes was signed by the Cincinnati Reds in 2010 and was shipped over to Chicago Cubs after a year of being in Single-A.
After being shuffled around within the Cubs’ farm system, he was then traded to the Houston Astros in 2013, where he would again sit in the minor leagues.
In May of 2015, the Astros traded Torreyes to the Toronto Blue Jays for cash. The infielder would only spend 16 games with Toronto’s minor league affiliate, the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, before being sold to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
It was the Dodgers that gave the 5’8″ Venezuelan native his first chance at the big leagues, before designating him for assignment after a mere six at-bats.
Five days after being designated, the Dodgers agreed to deal Torreyes to the Yankees for third baseman Rob Segedin.
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Happily ever after, right? Wrong.
Three days after general manager Brian Cashman made the trade bringing Torreyes in, he designated him for assignment. Leaving him without a home yet again.
Ten days after that, the Los Angeles Angels claimed Torreyes off waivers to give him hope that his major league dream is still attainable.
It pains me to write this, honestly, I really feel for this guy, but two days after being picked up by the Angels, they too designated him for assignment.
Five days later, the Yankees would claim Torreyes off waivers, to bring an end to the roller coaster ride that was Torreyes’ path to the majors.
“It’s a challenge, you know, to go from team to team,’’ Torreyes told Steven Marcus of Newsday. “I need to understand that it’s part of the business. At the same time, because of all of that, I’ve gotten experience which has brought me to be here today.’’
After slashing .279/.295/.326 while playing flawless defense in Spring Training for the Yankees, he beat out Rob Refsnyder for the utility infield role to earn his first Opening Day roster spot.
“I understand every day I got to come in and do my job,’’ he also told Marcus. “The decision was left to management. All I had to do was keep on doing my work.’’
That is when the legend of Ronald Alcides Torreyes took the big stage of New York.
His first Yankee at-bat took place on April 5th against the Houston Astros when he ripped a pinch-hit, two-run triple into the gap in right to further pad New York’s 16-6 lead, and eventual victory.
After today’s loss against the Blue Jays,Torreyes recorded two hits, including a double, and has a slash line of .667/.667/1.363 with two RBI on the year.
Torreyes remaining hot will serve as a twist for the Yankees this season, as their previous utility infielders didn’t necessarily fill in for the veterans with superb production in 2015.
Brendan Ryan and Jose Pirela batted a combined .229 and made nine errors while having a man in Stephen Drew stink up the joint with his .201/.271/.381 slash line as a starter.
Here in 2016, they not only have someone who was hitting .857 at one point last night, but the Yankees have one of the most humble utility men who just wants to give his team all that he can.
Torreyes has done nothing but struggle his way to a roster spot and now he’s showing every organization that ever cut or sold him (including his current team) that he means business.
Whether he’s pinch running, playing second, playing third, playing shortstop or even the emergency third catcher position (which he doesn’t know about), he’s going to be ready to fulfill any task that will help the Yankees reach title number 28.
Will Torreyes lead the Yankees to the World Series? Hell no.
But having that kind of attitude in a kid that will probably only start against leftys is an under the radar asset for any successful team, and for the 2016 New York Yankees, Torreyes is that guy.