Wednesday, January 4, 2017


(Sept. 26, 2016 - Source: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images North America)
The Yankees have an interesting challenge that every other team is envious of - an abundance of shortstops. It's an exciting time to be a Yankees fan, but what do the Yankees do with all of these guys? I am glad I am not in Brian Cashman's shoes right now because things are about to get even more complicated.

It seems hard to believe, but after the difference between Didi Gregorius of 2015 and 2016 is impressive. After a career season with a .276 BA, 20 home runs and 70 RBI's he certainly has even higher expectations for 2017. He's still only 26 years old and still has some of his best years ahead of him. Cashman may not be keen on the idea of giving up some young talent but a big logjam at shortstop is on its way.

Sept. 1, 2016 - Source: Patrick Smith/Getty Images North America
I admit, when Didi first stepped in came to us as the guy who was going to replace Derek Jeter I was not a fan. Sure, he was never going to "BE" Jeter but I think a lot of fans were hard on him just because he was taking over for our captain and he had slippery hands. It didn't look very promising for awhile but now he seems to have found his groove.

Photo: USA Today
But, he isn't the only shortstop to find his groove. It may be early for predictions but I really think Gleyber Torres is going to force Brian Cashman to make some very tough decisions. After stealing him from the Cubs in the Aroldis Chapman trade he had a successful season in the Arizona Fall League and was named the MVP. He even caught Cashman's eye and left him gushing to the media about him here. The youngest kid in the league had everyone's attention.

Photo: USA Today
But again that's not all.....the Yankees also still have Jorge Mateo. In 2015 he was thought to be the Yankee's second best prospect and impressed everyone with a .278 BA, 36 extra base hits, 40 RBIs and 82 stolen bases in 99 chances giving him the most stolen bags in professional baseball history. On paper, everything looked ready for a fast promotion. A move to AAA seemed to be coming sooner rather than later.

But as we have seen before his 2016 season did not match up to what we had previously seen and AAA didn't happen as predicted. He finished last season with a .254 BA, a low on base percentage and too many strikeouts. His on-field struggles turned into off-field struggles and he complained to Yankee management when his long awaited promotion never came which resulted in a suspension and also missing an appearance in the Futures Game.

Photo: Daily Hampshire Gazette
Mateo may have had a tough season, but the Yankees have not given up on him despite adding Torres to the team. He is still ranked as the Yankees fourth best prospect and a bounce back season could once again give the Yankees a lot to think about.

It will be interesting to see what happens if and when Torres is sufficiently "seasoned" down in the minors and is ready to be called up from AAA in a few short months to play.....where? The Yankees do not seem interested in moving either Gregorius or Torres to third base in place of Chase Headley AND Cashman has also said he doesn't want to trade any of these guys either. Maybe Cashman is using his poker face again. Who knows.

Oh, but again that's not all because they also still have Tyler Wade to figure out even though he is still way down at the bottom it still doesn't make this any easier. The Yankees will have to deal with this logjam at shortstop sooner rather than later. If we had to let someone go who should it be?

It's nice to have a lot of depth rather than not enough....I could get used to this.

 --Jeana Bellezza
BYB Managing Editor
Follow me on Twitter: @NYPrincessJ

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