The Yankees “Youth Movement” Gets An Early And Telling Test

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports /

Yankees rumors and news today are dominated by the shoulder strain injury to their designated starting shortstop. Typically considered bad news, this just might be a key turning point in the team’s 2017 season, even before it begins.

The Yankees are initially reporting that their starting shortstop, Didi Gregorius, will be lost to the team at least through April and possibly into May. A “fill-in” will not suffice for 1/6th of the regular season, and this has forced the team to begin an immediate search for a “regular” shortstop to man the middle of the Yankees infield.

That search should not take very long if the Yankees commit themselves to what is staring at them right in from of Brian Cashman’s face. Because the answer lies within, and not without the organization. And if the search for a replacement doesn’t end there, then all this ballyhoo about the Baby Bombers and the team’s “Youth Movement” is a fraud.

Freddy Galvis – Really?

And what’s puzzling is a report that had to come from somewhere in the Yankees organization in the New York Post Tuesday morning that the team interested in going outside the organization indicating that:

"“The Yankees would probably hunt for a shortstop elsewhere — options from other teams could be someone such as White Sox middle infielder Carlos Sanchez or the Phillies’ Freddy Galvis. Both fit that bill because their teams have young shortstops on the move.”"

Right out of the shoot, the Yankees go to someone who they will probably refer to as a “proven veteran” instead of capturing the talent that lays before their eyes in Tampa. Tyler Wade is dismissed. Why? Miguel Andujar is rejected. Why? And last but not least, Gleyber Torres, who must have a tether on his back tying him to Trenton New Jersey or something, is dismissed as well. Why?

And this doesn’t even consider the possibility of moving Starlin Castro back to his natural position as the shortstop and filling the gap at second with Rob Refsnyder?………or…….I’m not even going to go there because the Yankees should be able to figure this out without reaching for straws outside the organization.

The depth in the Yankees organization is unparalleled, and not just for them, but perhaps in all of baseball at the moment. What good is that depth if you don’t use it, though?

The Yankees Have A Choice – And We’re Watching

And if you look at it another way, this is a perfect storm for Brian Cashman to “give in,” even if reluctantly, to letting Torres begin the season in the Bronx. He can’t say Torres hasn’t earned it. He’d look like a fool if he did, so why not?

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What can it hurt? Oh, I forgot. It’ll give Torres a leg up if the clock starts sooner rather than later when the organization counts the days before he’s eligible for arbitration and free agency. Really? Is this what the richest team in baseball has come down to?

And if they don’t want to make the leap to Torres, at least pass the torch to Tyler Wade, who’s been tagged as the future super-utility player for the Yankees anyway. Is he going hit home runs like Gregorius has proven he can? Probably not, but neither will the journeyman shortstop, Freddie Galvis.

I have no way of knowing which way the team is going to go on this. But I do know this much. It’s going to be a telling decision by the organization and one that sets the tone for all those kids who are waiting for a chance to prove themselves.

It’s your move, Brian, and we’re all watching.