Brian Cashman isn’t thinking about Gleybermania coming to the Bronx. Not yet.
“I’m not looking at Gleyber Torres right now on the major-league side,” Cashman said Thursday at a HOPE Week event at Yankee Stadium. “I’m just looking at Gleyber taking the next step at Triple-A Scranton. Just like when we were faced with, ‘Are you going to bring Gleyber up because Didi (Gregorius) is down?’ the answer was, ‘No, we aren’t going to interrupt his player-development process.’”
Torres, the Yankees’ 20-year-old top prospect, has played in just two Triple-A games since his promotion from Double-A Trenton (one hit in six at-bats). He will continue to get exposure at shortstop, third base and second base, playing each position in a balanced rotation.
Torres can get to New York either by crushing Triple-A pitching and forcing his way onto the roster or due to injury — even if his development isn’t finished.
“That’s possible,” Cashman said. “That happens all the time where, ‘Hey, we’d rather him stay down, but the need is there and he’s the best alternative.’ A lot of times guys get brought in here even when they haven’t finished all aspects off. You saw Didi playing here when he came over from Arizona and he wasn’t a finished product, he couldn’t hit lefties. So guys continue to finish their development up at the big league level. And Aaron Hicks is doing what he’s doing this year and he’s been finishing off his development the last few years with Minnesota and us.”
Torres played 32 games at Double-A Trenton, posting an .863 OPS. Derek Jeter played 34 games at Double-A in 1994, posting a .962 OPS before his promotion. Cashman said there was no link there, despite the nearly identical timetables. “Everyone is different,” the Yankees’ GM said.
Asked why he decided now was the right time to promote Torres, Cashman explained that VP of baseball operations Tim Naehring had swung through Trenton and recommended the move. Cashman then spoke to VP of player development Gary Denbo and said, “‘When you want to move him, just let me know.’” Two-to-three weeks later Denbo recommended it as well. So multiple members of the organization met and came to an agreement that it should happen.
Gregorius seems entrenched at short and Starlin Castro has hit extremely well at second. Chase Headley has struggled at the plate and in the field at third, but he’s due $ 13 million this season and next.
Still, Torres’ continued development gives the Yankees options and flexibility should a need arise.