New York Yankees infielder Gleyber Torres has struggled at shortstop this spring. Should the ballclub consider a switch?
Gleyber Torres recorded his fifth error of the spring on Tuesday. He also botched a grounder that was ruled a hit.
Torres looks to be the New York Yankees’ full-time shortstop with Didi Gregorius having signed a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Phillies. But with his evident struggles, should the Bombers keep him there?
A natural shortstop, Torres has played 1,463 innings at second base since making the bigs in 2018. He played second base in both the 2018 and 2019 campaigns. At that spot, he’s recorded a total of 21 errors in his career with a 96.9% fielding percentage.
Last season, he played 659.2 innings at short and 547.1 at second. He also played second base throughout the postseason last year, with Gregorius manning short and DJ LeMahieu playing first base. Luke Voit was left off both the American League Division Series and American League Championship Series rosters.
But Torres has struggled early this spring at shortstop, and it’s a cause for concern.
LeMahieu is a three-time Gold Glove Award winner, all of which came primarily as a second baseman. But he flashed the leather in his 262 innings at first base last season. At that spot, he recorded a pair of errors with a 99.2% fielding percentage in 2019.
The aforementioned numbers are impressive when you consider that prior to last season, LeMahieu played just 13 big-league innings there, and none since 2014.
LeMahieu seems locked into second base – the position he’s played almost his entire career.
But would it be wise for the two middle infielders to flip flop?
Despite winning three Gold Gloves, LeMahieu has played just four total innings at shortstop in the big leagues, and none since 2014. He probably would be just fine at short, as he adjusted to the first base position nicely. But to err on the side of caution, the Yankees should leave LeMahieu at his natural position.
As they should do with Torres.
Gleyber is a shortstop by trait. He’s played a good amount at the shortstop position in the big leagues. Granted, he had a hole to fill with Gregorius on the shelf. And when Gregorius came back, he was stuck at second.
But the Yankees don’t really have another shortstop on their roster. It’s a tough situation, but a situation they must adapt to nonetheless.
Tyler Wade — a natural infielder — has more professional innings under his belt in the outfield (146.0) than he does at short (50.0). He has the second-most big league innings at shortstop on the 40-man roster. His bat hasn’t warranted him everyday playing time either (career .197/.268/.298 slash line).
The Yankees need to ride and die with their stars – Torres didn’t make the cover of Sports Illustrated by accident.
The Yankees are one of the favorites to win the World Series. Having said that, there’s no time to test the waters with everyday players.
Torres is the shortstop, and he will be for a long time.
Hey – everyone reading this had 162 more defensive runs saved than a certain Yankees shortstop that played from 1995-2014. They’ll live.