One of the most impressive things about the 2016 season was that Ronald Torreyes stayed on the active roster for the whole season. “Toe” really broke out last year because of his ability to step up when the team needed him to and quickly earned a place in the hearts of his teammates and fans.
Torreyes’ popularity really took off when the Yankees decided to start marketing him in fun ways. Between his photo shoots with Aaron Judge and the emergence of the Toe-night Show, Torreyes quickly became a fan-favorite and a staple of the Yankees. He was never going to be a star, but he shined bright when they needed to.
Because of his popularity, the way he was handled in 2018 was jarring, even if it made sense.
2018 Statistics: 41 games, 102 plate appearances, .280/.294/.370, 0 home runs, 7 RBI, 9 runs, 7 doubles, 0.3 WAR, 78 wRC+
2019 Contract Status: 1st Year Arbitration Eligible
It was late May when Ronald Torreyes was optioned down to Triple-A as part of a roster crunch. For the last two years, Torreyes had stepped up admirably for the Yankees and became a real part of the team. So, it was kind of shocking when he was sent down, but the reason was sound.
The truth is that the Yankees had better options for roster spots. Torreyes could be counted on when they needed him, but he’s never going to be more than what he’s been. His batting average gives the impression of a better player than he is, but his slash line paints the real story. He’ll get his hits, but he doesn’t hit for power, nor does he walk.
Because of that, the Yankees were comfortable stashing him in the minors. Even when he was on the active roster, he was far enough behind in the depth chart that he didn’t get many opportunities. He was fine for what he was, but he was certainly expendable when more talented players were available.
It’s hard to fault Torreyes for the circumstance he was put in, but the few times he did play, he didn’t quite deliver. Although sitting on the bench as much as he did could hardly be beneficial, if Torreyes is going to succeed in the majors, he’s going to have to learn how to accept that kind of role. If he wants to stick around, he’s going to have to be more like his 2017-self than this year’s version.
Now, please enjoy this poem that I wrote to sum up his 2018:
Yo Toe didn’t really play
What else can I say?
They made room for better players
even with all the naysayers
His claim to fame is cause he’s small
no one might care if he was tall
Truth is, he’s not really that good
we care about him more than we should
When it comes to toe we should be ready to move on
more likely than not, it wont be long before he’s gone.