The Yankees will deploy Gleyber Torres in roughly a “50-50” split between second base and shortstop at Triple-A this season, manager Aaron Boone told MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch and other reporters. Torres has spent the vast majority of his four pro seasons as a shortstop but received some time at second base over the last two seasons and third base in 2017. One of the game’s top prospects, Torres is expected to make his big league debut at some point this season, and second base could be his ultimate position in New York given Didi Gregorius’ presence at short. With Gregorius slated for free agency after the 2019 season, however, Torres’ presence gives the Yankees flexibility at both middle infield positions going forward.
Here’s some more from around the AL East…
- “I felt great. I felt normal,” Drew Pomeranz told media (including the Boston Herald’s Michael Silverman) after a 33-pitch simulated throwing session today. The Red Sox southpaw has missed time with a mild flexor strain and his status for the start of the season is still in question, though today’s result was a good step for Pomeranz. Between this outing and the positive updates on Steven Wright and Eduardo Rodriguez yesterday, there is a chance Boston could begin the year without having to turn to minor league depth starters Hector Velazquez or Brian Johnson.
- The Orioles optioned Austin Wynns to Triple-A today, as reported by MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli and others. Wynns had been competing with Andrew Susac and Chance Sisco for the secondary catcher role, as Caleb Joseph is in line for the bulk of playing time behind the plate. Sisco is ranked by both MLB.com and Baseball America as the third-best prospect in Baltimore’s system, and has long been considered the Orioles’ catcher of the future. With that in mind, however, the O’s may prefer to keep Sisco in the minors for now in order to give him everyday at-bats rather than limit him to a part-time role.
- As also noted in Ghiroli’s piece, Chris Davis made his return to the Orioles’ lineup today after a two-week absence due to a forearm injury. Davis is tentatively scheduled to play in a minor league game tomorrow, assuming he feels ready to go. Despite losing a good chunk of the spring to the injury, Davis is still expected to be ready for Opening Day.
- Both the Rays and Brendan McKay are intent on seeing if the top prospect can reach the big leagues as a two-way player, as Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times outlines how McKay and the team are preparing and managing his workload for this unique challenge. McKay, the fourth overall pick in the 2017 draft, is thus far considered to be more polished as a pitcher, according to both the Rays and rival scouts. A decision may eventually have to be made about McKay’s position at some point in the future, but that doesn’t appear to be in the cards anytime soon. “This is absolutely no gimmick. This is for real,” Rays farm director Mitch Lukevics said. “This is every day, seven days a week that we’re getting Brendan McKay prepared to take on a full season and do both, as a starting pitcher and first baseman, with some DH.”