Yankees: Sending down Ronald Torreyes was the right move
On Saturday, many Yankees fans and analysts were shocked Ronald Torreyes was optioned to the minors to make room on the active roster for Greg Bird. Yes, it’s odd to demote a .339 hitting utility man, but it was the right call.
First of all, this will not be the last we see of Ronald Torreyes in 2018 on the Yankees active roster. Let’s get one thing straight; he’s a fan favorite and the definition of a great team player. His versatility on the field is his most valuable asset, and he’s also a solid situational hitter.
As a fan and lover of the game, I want to address that I appreciate the player this clubhouse guy is before I explain why he needed to be sent down. While the demotion was cold-heartedly unfair, I have to say it would have been worse to send down anyone else.
The luxury of too much depth has its consequences
GM Brian Cashman has done a masterful job of constructing a young and talented, flexible roster. Having too much depth has allowed Boone to maintain a fresh team filled with hungry guys fighting for playing time.
Rookies Tyler Austin, Miguel Andujar, and Gleyber Torres have held their own on the field and at the plate. It’s safe to say they have earned their pinstripes. Also, it would have been just as unfair to send either one of them down instead of Torreyes.
Torres became the youngest player in AL history to homer in four straight games on Friday. Austin has filled in at first base, and he’s leading all AL rookies in home runs and runs batted in. And Miguel Andujar is a terrific hitter with a rocket arm at third base.
The rookies weren’t the only candidates to get demoted to the minors. Some fans have speculated that Neil Walker’s time in pinstripes may have been coming to an early close because of his abysmal .220/.297/.317 slash line.
His switch-hitting bat didn’t jump out of the gate early in the season, but he’s recently become Mr. Clutch. He, like Torreyes, is another utility player who has no issue with not starting as many games. You have to respect the former Silver Slugger’s humility.
Let’s not forget about what happened to Brandon Drury. He’s another, major league caliber player who was a victim of being part of a team with too much depth. Unfortunately, the difference between Drury and Walker is Brandon had minor league options.
Related Story: Yankees must decide Brandon Drury’s big league fate
So by optioning Torreyes, the Yankees keep the fan favorite on their 40 man-roster, and they don’t unjustly treat their productive youthful players who will be major contributors to the team for years to come.
But Chris, Torreyes is a clubhouse guy, and he’s batting .339!
One thing that disappointed me before the season was how the Yankees didn’t bring back Todd Frazier. I believe team chemistry is just as important as talent to win ballgames, and I thought Frazier was a guy the Yankees were going to need in 2018.
But Frazier batted in the low .200’s, he struck out too much, he wasn’t the same All-Star player he used to be, and the Yankees had Miguel Andujar ready to take over. Like Frazier, Torreyes has his flaws, and there are younger, more talented players who are prepared to make their mark.
There’s a reason why Torreyes is always batting in the lower third of the Yankees batting order. While Torreyes is an excellent situational hitter, he barely has any pop in his swing. He slaps the ball out of the infield and occasionally hits a double.
His lack of plate discipline also hurts his chances of getting on base, which means fewer run opportunities for the Yankees. His high batting average is very impressive, but if he was a starter, I guarantee it would be lower . Also when he gets on base, he rarely steals.
Doesn’t his versatility on the field already make him invaluable?
The Yankees have multiple players who can play numerous positions in the infield. Walker plays everywhere, but shortstop. Didi Gregorius and Torres can play everywhere but first base.
So as I mentioned before, Torreyes’ most valuable asset is his versatility. Since the Yankees already have multiple players who can play numerous positions, Torreyes isn’t needed right now. Chances are, someone will get hurt, and either Drury or Torreyes will be called back up for depth.
Did the Yankees have to send Greg Bird back up?
The Yankees had to send Bird back up. He is supposed to be a great left-handed bat, and he’s a solid fielding first baseman. Now that he’s healthy (so we think), it’s his time to show off what he can do in the majors for an extended period.
If Bird fails again, then it’s time for the organization to move on, in my opinion. But I think the production the Yankees will get out of him will outweigh what Torreyes would have given them in the long run.
Another reason why the Yankees had to bring Bird back up is to make sure he’s comfortable playing in the majors before they trade away Tyler Austin. It’s likely Austin will be exchanged for pitching since the Yankees have always been higher on the prospect that Bird is.
Bird will eventually become the everyday Yankees first baseman if everything goes according to plan. If Austin is traded by the deadline, then we can see Torreyes back on the major league roster before August.
Next: Greg Bird’s return helps in many ways
What do you think?
Did management make the right move by sending down Torreyes? I thought it was hard, but the right choice. Let me know your thoughts down below: