A recent surge by Ronald Torreyes reminds the New York Yankees that the little guy has what every competing team needs to win.
A dominant ace, potent offense, slick fielding, and a shut-down bullpen are the fundamental ingredients of a championship-caliber baseball team.
However, there is an abundance of overlooked aspects of a team that hoists the commissioner’s trophy such as chemistry, the clutch gene, and a feisty utility man that flys under the radar but nevertheless has a huge bearing on a team’s fate.
Whenever they are called upon, and the number of instances is petite, they are expected to perform as though they are in the lineup on a daily basis. With injuries and limited roster space, teams have begun to fill that space more of that space with bullpen arms rather than a position player.
Therefore, players who make their earnings by playing all around the diamond are becoming more precious in this day in age. Ronald Torreyes, or as I like to call the “little engine that could,” is that man for the New York Yankees.
Through just 47 games as a third baseman, shortstop, designated hitter, second baseman, and even right fielder, the 5’10” Torreyes is slashing .277/.320/.426 with an OPS of .746, a home run, and 35% of his base hits being extra-base hits.
“He’s just been playing so well and he’s been swinging the bat so well,” manager Joe Girardi told Erik Boland of Newsday. “It’s hard to ignore.”
On Tuesday, during one of the two crucial Yankees’ wins in Seattle, the 23-year old went 3-for-4 with two doubles becoming the first member of the 2016 team to do so this season.
Additionally, Torreyes owns a slash line of .563/.563/1.000 with a home run and three RBI since August 19 helping the Bombers maintain a record of 4-1 in games he played in.
In that time span, New York has gained at least a half game on all of the divisional opponents above them thanks to Torreyes contributing to 56% of their runs since last Friday.
Literally. Among the Yankees’ 27 runs scored since that date, the little utility man has scored 15 of them. Which is almost unparalleled.
And the Yankees’ manager is true to his words as Torreyes is in the starting lineup as the starting third baseman in game one of the crucial three-game set with the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium.
“If he continues to hit like this,” Girardi said. “I’m going to have to find ways to play him.”
What Torreyes is to his team is exactly what every team in hopes of competing needs. A guy who can play everywhere and produce when called upon.
The only reason he was given an opportunity was due to an Achilles issue that irked starting third baseman Chase Headley last week. Again, coming through when being called upon is what he’s doing best.
Will Torreyes lead the Yankees to a divisional crown they only have a 0.5% chance of winning? Reasonably not.
But being able to provide such a jolt (again, 56% of their runs this week) is nothing but a faultless asset for any successful team and for the 2016 New York Yankees, they’ll need any jolt they can get to launch them to the postseason.