Yankees admit it's possible top prospect Gleyber Torres will be called up in the coming days
Is it guaranteed to happen though? 'Not necessarily,' according to Aaron Boone
The 2018 season has not started the way the New York Yankees had hoped. The team is 7-7 through 14 games, and they were rained out both Saturday and Sunday at Comerica Park. A chance to right the ship against the rebuilding Detroit Tigers was washed away.
The Yankees are currently without first baseman Greg Bird (ankle) and third baseman Brandon Drury (migraines), which has forced them to mix and match on the infield. Career second baseman Neil Walker has shifted to first base with rookies Tyler Wade and Miguel Andujar playing second and third, respectively. Walker, Wade, and Andujar are a combined 17 for 112 (.152) with no home runs in the early going.
With neither Bird's nor Drury's return imminent, attention has shifted to top prospect Gleyber Torres, who is currently mashing down in Triple-A. The 21-year-old Torres went 1 for 3 on Sunday and is hitting .385/.405/.564 so far this season. Not surprisingly, Yankees skipper Aaron Boone was asked Sunday about Torres possibly joining the Yankees in the coming days. Here is his response:
The day to watch: Thursday. Prospects on the 40-man roster with no prior MLB experience (like Torres) must remain in the minors through Tuesday to push free agency back one year. If the Yankees call up Torres on Monday or Tuesday, he will become a free agent during the 2023-24 offseason. If they wait until at least Wednesday, Torres won't become a free agent until the 2024-25 offseason. (The Yankees have an off-day Wednesday, so realistically, Thursday is the first day they'd call him up.)
Torres is a natural shortstop, but with Didi Gregorius entrenched at short in the Bronx, the Yankees have had Torres split his Triple-A time between second and third bases. Most notably, he's has started his last five games at the hot corner, which may be an indication the Yankees do not expect Drury back anytime soon. MLB.com ranks Torres as the fifth best prospect in baseball. Here's a snippet of their scouting report:
Torres has exceptionally quick hands that allow him to excel from the right side of the plate and make plays in the field. Always an advanced hitter for his age, he recognizes pitches well, uses the entire field and has improved his walk and strikeout rates in each of his seasons in full-season ball. He makes adjustments easily and also has hit for more power each year as well as he has gotten stronger, projecting as a hitter who can contend for batting titles while providing 20-plus homers annually ... He could contend for a starting job at (any) position this year and has the tools to be a star wherever he winds up.
Boone understandably hedged when asked about Torres being called up -- no manager or executive would ever come out and announce a specific day for a prospect call up, especially when the team is manipulating service time -- but it should also be noted Torres is coming back from Tommy John surgery. He tore the ligament in his non-throwing elbow during an awkward slide into home plate last June. He completed his rehab and is healthy now, though the Yankees may want to give him more Triple-A time to shake off the rust.
One thing is for sure: With the Yankees playing less than stellar baseball out of the gate, and their infield continuing to be thin due to injuries, the calls for Torres will only grow louder, especially if he continues to rake in Triple-A. Once we get beyond Wednesday's service time cutoff, Torres' days in the minors may be numbered.
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