Yankees: Did They Just Give Us A Snapshot Of The Future?

Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports
Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports /

The other day, the Yankees fielded an infield that had a little twist to it. Did they just give us a little peek as to what the future holds?

The Yankees, mostly due to the emergence of Didi Gregorius, have a glut of shortstops in the organization. They also have a glut of infielders, who can often be developed into interchangeable pieces at shortstop, second, and third base. Tyler Wade, Jorge Mateo, Ronald Torreyes, Miguel Andujar all qualify as having enough athleticism to become more versatile, which in turn, makes them more valuable.

But what they don’t have is a spot for Gleyber Torres in their lineup next season. With a full season at Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre on his resume and assuming he keeps up the rapid pace of his development, there is no way the Yankees would keep him saddled and constrained any longer.

Translation: “You could put me anywhere right now and I’d be comfortable. So, let’s just get it on.”

The other day, though, the Yankees offered what us what might be a peek into the future when they installed Torres at second base. For now, they are limiting the experiment and Torres will not see action at third base according to Joe Girardi, who told the New York Post:

"“As of right now, we don’t have any plans,’’ Joe Girardi said of Torres playing third in a game. He is, however, working out at the position."

Clearly, something has to give in the Yankees infield to make room for Torres. The transition from shortstop to second appears to be easier than a shift from short to third, where angles and the timing of throws to first base vary widely from middle infield positions.

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Which leaves open the obvious question, what does this mean for Starlin Castro? It probably is going mean that he is out of a job, even though Castro had a stellar season for the Yankees in 2016 and more of the same is expected from him this year.

Conceivably, Castro could have a breakout season in 2017 that would cause the Yankees fits (in a good way) by complicating the team’s plan. But more likely is that the Yankees would see that as increasing the trade value of Castro and go forward with the project to have Torres take over at second.

Following the game on Sunday, Torres told the New York Post:

"“I felt pretty comfortable. I’ve been practicing for a couple of day now and felt good,’’ Torres said."

Translation: “You could put me anywhere right now, and I’d be comfortable. So, let’s just get it on.”

Of course, this doesn’t come anywhere near solving the overall problem the Yankees have, and they still need to come up with a plan to absorb they rest of their talent. But with this team, it’s one step at a time and taking care of Torres first is a good sign that the team is aware of the problem and acting on it, even now.

By this time next year, much of the problem will sort itself out as one or two of the players mentioned above will play themselves out of contention this season.

Or maybe not, and Brian Cashman will be throwing darts at the wall or flipping coins……..