Tyler Wade has impressed at New York Yankees Spring Training and it looks like he’s going to get ample opportunities at second base.
Tyler Wade has impressed so far this Spring Training. He’s done enough to warrant a roster spot on opening day according to New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone. It looks like he’s going to be platooning alongside newly acquired Neil Walker, but regardless, he’s going to get more of an opportunity to prove himself than he did last season.
According to Mike Mazzeo of the New York Daily News, Boone feels that both Wade and Walker will see substantial time early on this season.
“I wouldn’t necessarily anoint either one of them (the starter),” Boone said. “I feel like it’s just going to be a daily thing where those guys will be getting regular playing time, and I just think their skill sets complement each other. You could see both of them in a game every day — whether they’re sharing a position or playing somewhere else depending on how things unfold. I think they complement each other really well.”
After including Starlin Castro in the package that brought Giancarlo Stanton to the Bronx, the Yankees had a void at second base. Coming into Spring Training, neither Walker or Wade were seen as likely options to be opening day starters. Walker was a free agent until March 12th so it’s obvious why he wasn’t seen as a candidate.
Wade is a different story. He was coming into camp as a dark horse candidate at second base, but it was unclear how much of a chance he had at becoming an opening day starter.
Top prospect Gleyber Torres was seen as a viable option, but he is going to start the season with AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He’s coming off Tommy John surgery and the Yankees are playing it safe. Not to mention, the team wants to keep him down for the first month of the season in order to keep him under team control for an extra year. Ronald Torreyes was seen as a possible stopgap at second base for the first month or so until Torres was ready to come up. Although Toe filled in admirably for an injured Didi Gregorius in April last season, it’s clear the organization thinks he tops out as a utility infielder.
After finding out he would be on the opening day roster, Wade spoke with Mazzeo regarding the opportunity and he’s saying all the right things.
“Hey, we’re in this together,” Wade said. “We’re both going to help this team win a championship. We’re both ultra-competitors, but we understand our roles on this team and we’re going to help us in different ways. We’re excited we’re both on this team together.”
Although Wade’s numbers from last season don’t jump off the page, he played sparingly so it’s difficult to judge him off of that. He had a slash line of .155/.222/.224, but only in 63 plate appearances.
Wade won’t be the everyday second baseman, but it looks like he’ll be playing around three to four days a week in March and April. If nothing else, he’s getting the opportunity to cement his status on the 25-man roster. He’s got the glove, the versatility, now he just needs to find consistency at the plate.