The New York Yankees are expected to activate Gleyber Torres on Friday as his stint on the injured list comes to an end. Even with every MLB team getting two extra roster spots in September, it was still assumed Bronx native Andrew Velazquez would be a casualty once Torres was ready to return.
But things have changed. Zack Britton is now out for the remainder of the season, which created an opening. Luis Severino probably won’t be making his way back to the team anytime soon. We’re likely not seeing Clint Frazier, Miguel Andújar and Domingo Germán again.
The Yankees promoted Brooks Kriske and Estevan Florial on Sept. 1 to fill the two extra spots, but manager Aaron Boone’s latest comments on Velazquez’s status suggest one of those two will get sent back down once Torres is activated (spoiler alert: it’ll probably be Kriske).
Boone told the media on Wednesday that he expects Velazquez to remain with the team, and it’s creating yet another intriguing roster discussion.
Perhaps the latest Gio Urshela injury news is contributing to this decision? Boone said the third baseman is headed for an MRI but could be back in action as early as Friday.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone says Andrew Velazquez will stay with the team.
Some Yankees fans have enjoyed Velazquez’s stay so much that they think there’s a discussion to be had about the starting shortstop position moving forward. There’s no question Velazquez is considerably better with his glove, but Torres’ bat, even when it’s below average, blows Velazquez’s out of the water. It’s doubtful the Yankees would make that sacrifice, especially when it’s clear this lineup is at its best when Torres is lengthening it and performing at his best.
But what about DHing Torres on occasion if the Yankees want to give him a rest and put in a better defensive replacement? What about if Urshela is injured worse than the team believes (or it’s a nagging issue) and Gleyber shifts back to second base, Velazquez stays at short, and DJ LeMahieu moves to third? Are we sure the team isn’t considering these options?
Because honestly, what other reasons exist for keeping Velazquez around when Tyler Wade can play an adequate shortstop and is tearing the cover off the ball at the moment?
The Yankees are 13-3 when Andrew Velazquez starts at shortstop, and though his presence in the lineup isn’t a direct correlation to winning games, he’s played an unforgettable role during the team’s run back into contention during the month of August.
Perhaps his energy, dedication and delightful interviews have convinced the team to keep him around despite the potential need for more pitching. Then again, he could get demoted for pitching at any point after Torres’ return.
We’re just going to enjoy this while it lasts.