1. Gleyber Torres for Andrew Velazquez
It’s either him or Tyler Wade, folks!
As incredible as Andrew Velazquez has been at galvanizing this roster and playing exceptional defense while chipping in a few clutch hits, Wade (though we nearly can’t believe it) has his season numbers all the way up to a 95 wRC+ and .278 average. With regular playing time for the first time ever, he’s been downright average all year long and downright good lately.
Velazquez is a phenomenal story, and we’d prefer to carry him as a ceremonial 28th man all September long and into the playoffs, but it just … doesn’t seem likely. We’re instead going to advise you to enjoy his contributions while you still can, even though the potential extinguishing of his flame sort of feels like the “end” of the “New Yankees.” Don’t talk to us, we’re … we’re working some stuff out.
Gleyber Torres’ absence may have raised some questions about whether or not he’s the “shortstop of the future” or a shortstop at all, but pending some sort of awful setback, he’ll be returning to the MLB level in about 10 days, and any other roster maneuver than a straight-up shortstop swap makes even less sense. Rodriguez, who’s emerged in the bullpen? Probably not the time to be sacrificing depth there in any way, considering how overworked the team’s ‘pen stalwarts have been.
Maybe some of these pitching rehabs take a while. Like, a long while. Otherwise, Velazquez could be in trouble in early September.
Remember, we warned you.