The Yankees started out the 2017 season with Chase Headley on a tear with the team thinking that his struggles from last year were over and they were moving on to a new chapter of the Chase Headley story in New York.
The Yankees, unfortunately, could not have been more wrong. Since April 19th, Chase Headley has been in one of the worst slumps of his career, batting .158 (18-for-114). He has shown no signs that he is going to come out of the slump anytime soon.
Every time he comes to the plate, it seems like it is an extraordinary situation for the Yankees, one where they could use a clutch hit, But every time, I can’t help but wish that there was a better situation at third base for the Yankees. Usually, without fail this season, Headley finds a way to get an out.
Benched in the 9th?
In recent games, Joe Girardi has even benched his starting third basemen in the 9th inning, when the Yankees are really in need of a hit.
This speaks volumes to the way that Joe Girardi feels about his struggling third basemen.
After getting benched in the 9th inning on May 27th, Chase Headley had this to say in a New York Daily News interview, “No. Yeah, I mean, if I want to hit, I need to hit better, you know what I mean?
I’m not blaming him (Joe Girardi) for making the decision; I’m saying I would like to hit right there. But, you know, I’m not swinging the bat very well, and if I want that at-bat, then I need to swing the bat better.”
This interview shows that Headley is taking responsibility and accepting that he is not hitting the ball very well right now. If the game is on the line, Girardi is not comfortable right now with letting Headley hit. The important thing here is that Headley realizes that he is in a slump and is actively working to get out of it.
Gleyber Torres to the rescue?
All of this leaves the question: who would replace Chase Headley for the Yankees? The most viable option right now is Yankees top prospect Gleyber Torres. He is currently playing at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
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The organization has been playing their premier prospect all over the infield instead of his natural position at shortstop. As he gets more reps at third base, the Yankees will be able to see and make a decision about how ready he is for the show.
In nine games since getting to AAA, he is only batting .207 (6-for-29). Although he is off to a slow start, this is pretty standard for players making the jump from AA to AAA, and we also see this when they move from AAA to the MLB.
Aaron Judge was the perfect example of someone following this pattern recently in the Yankees system.
Look for Gleyber Torres to find his groove in AAA, because we all know he can hit after becoming the youngest player to win the Arizona Fall League MVP at just 19 years old. If he starts to produce at the AAA level, then he may leave the Yankees with no choice but to call him up.
The Yankees don't seem to want to make any trades at the moment. Nevertheless, they could improve the team by swapping these four players.
This decision will be left up to Yankees GM Brian Cashman. He has made all the right moves so far this year, and this one will probably be no exception.