Yankees Won’t Rush Gleyber Torres To Majors
TAMPA—The Yankees named shortstop Gleyber Torres their best rookie in big league camp.
However, they didn’t give the 20-year-old a chance to replace Didi Gregorius when Gregorius went down with a right shoulder injury during the World Baseball Classic that will keep him out until at least May.
"I pride ourselves on being open-minded and aggressive,’’ general manager Brian Cashman said. "But I like to be cautious, too. He is a 20-year-old who has never played above (Single-A) despite how good he looks, how mature he appears. Especially with a high-ceiling prospect it is the right play to close that gap from no Double-A, no Triple-A and jump somebody into the major leagues ahead of a whole bunch of other guys to fill an injury need. You usually don’t handle your high-end players at 20 years of age that way. It’s not something I would advocate.’’
Had Torres, the centerpiece of the deal that sent Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs last July, played some Double-A last year he might have been considered since Tyler Wade, who is being groomed as a utility player, was in the mix for shortstop after appearing in 133 games for Double-A Trenton a year ago.
"We need to see more. Gleyber just got to us the summer of last year, a trade we thought was important to make but it was not a trade I made with the anticipation that he would be a starting anything on our 25-man roster of 2017,’’ Cashman said of Torres, who batted .448 (13-for-29) in 20 spring games. "The trade was not made with any expectations despite how tremendous he has done. We have to make important decisions and some of them is not to overreact to an injury to Didi at the expense of Gleyber.’’
Torres, who hit .254 (31-for-122) with high Class A Tampa last year, was the MVP of the Arizona Fall League. He hit .403/.513/.645 (25-for-62) with three homers, 11 RBIs and a 1.158 OPS.
• Torres wasn’t the only high-profile prospect to be sent out before the final cuts. Clint Frazier, the centerpiece of the Andrew Miller trade to the Indians was reassigned on March 24. Frazier, who will play a corner outfield spot for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre hit .308 in 20 games.
• Lefthanded-hitting outfielder Billy McKinney was part of the Chapman-Torres trade last July and took advantage of pre-camp injuries to outfielders Tyler Austin and Mason Williams to open some eyes. McKinney, a first-round pick of the A’s in 2013, was added to the roster because of those injuries and responded by batting .417 (10-for-24) with three homers and seven RBIs in 19 games.
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— George King covers the Yankees for the New York Post