TAMPA, Fla. — Well, let’s first start with who we know is not replacing the injured Didi Gregorius. Gleyber Torres, the New York Yankees 20-year-old top prospect, will not be the Opening Day shortstop.
The Yankees have now said so for more than 24 hours and they aren’t changing their minds. He has only played at A-ball and they don’t want to mess with someone everyone thinks could be a star.
So who could it be? Well, we know the Yankees plan on looking internally so let’s break down the candidates.
The 5-foot-7 Torreyes miraculously spent the entire 2016 season with the big club, even though he appeared like a guy that would be a frequent part of the Scranton Shuttle, making the two-and-a-half mile drive to the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate.
Torreyes is hitting .282 in the spring. He barely has any power, but he could be a stopgap guy.
2. Tyler Wade
Wade is the most exciting of the choices. Just 22, he hasn’t hit that much in the minors. In three seasons, he has batted .267, none of which has come above Double-A. He is slated to be the Scranton shortstop.
The Yankees’ overall plans for Wade is for him to be their version of Ben Zobrist, however they will put those plans on hold if they think believe he is their best option to replace Gregorius in the short-term. Wade grew up idolizing Derek Jeter.
3. Pete Kozma
The soon-to-be 29-year-old Kozma had spent parts of five seasons in the majors before he stalled in Scranton for 2016. He is probably the best fielder of any of the Yankees’ options, but his career on-base percentage is just .288.
With questions on the Yankees’ starting staff, Kozma’s case could be that defense could help win games. His bat won’t as he is only hitting .208 this spring.
4. Ruben Tejada
The 27-year-old ex-Met has been a major league shortstop, but he has only hit .259 and it appears that Torryes has the edge for the backup job. There seems to be little reason to believe the Yankees would go with him over the two players with experience above him. He can’t be entirely ruled out, but it doesn’t seem as if the Yankees are very high on him.
If the Yankees moved Castro to short, then they would have a hole at second — and Robinson Cano ain’t coming back. Castro will see a little time in the spring, because the Yankees just want to be protected if they have to make moves or there are injuries during the regular season. The Yankees have all but ruled this as a regular option.