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How the Yankees will use Tyler Wade and Ronald Torreyes

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Let’s figure out how the Yankees can use Wade and Torreyes differently

MLB: Kansas City Royals at New York Yankees Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees have just a few spring training games left before the start of the regular season. They may not have announced every final decision yet, but we do know that Tyler Wade and Ronald Torreyes will both be on the team. While they do deserve the nod, it’s hard to see how the Yankees can effectively use two guys who basically do all the same things. So how do they effectively deploy both backup infielders? Here’s how.

Handedness

One flaw the of the Yankees roster is that they have no tough bat that can come off the bench when they need it most. The obvious tradeoff is having Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton in the same lineup to start the game. The Yankees can then make do with whatever they have to get the job done late in the game.

Unfortunately, this year’s bench will include Austin Romine, Jacoby Ellsbury, Wade, and Torreyes. Nothing that really menaces opposing pitchers, but when it comes to Wade vs. Torreyes, we know how they would work. What immediately separates the two is their handedness when they come up to the plate. Wade is a left-handed batter, while Torreyes bats righty. In 2017, Torreyes had a 99 wRC+ against left-handed pitching, which should earn him some playing time over Wade.

The Yankees are not about to rely on Toe as their predominant tool off the bench against left-handed pitchers, but it will still have its uses. If someone has to come out of the game and there’s a lefty on the mound, it seems like Torreyes would be the easy choice to come in for this scenario.

Positions

At first glance it might seem that both players can be used in the same positions, but the Yankees would be able to deploy them differently based on their strengths. Thanks to the unreliable nature of fielding statistics, we can’t really compare their abilities in the field directly, but we do know a little something about their own natural abilities.

Wade is very much a natural shortstop with a recent conversion to second base following the acquisition of Gleyber Torres. Torryes, meanwhile, is a second baseman all the way who can play elsewhere as a utility infielder. When it comes to third base, Brandon Drury might be the starting third baseman right now, but Wade has a chance to at least split some time at the position. He may also be the first choice if the Yankees need someone to fake it in the outfield for a few games. This way, Torreyes is the backup infielder and Wade is more of a super utility player, capable of filling in more on a full-time basis.

In-Game Usage

We know how the Yankees would use them in terms of handedness and by their preferred positions, but what about in-game usage? Other than Torreyes’ right-handed bat, he doesn’t exactly offer many clear advantages over Wade. In the end, Wade is the guy they are going to use if they need a speedster on the bases late in the game. There’s probably no one faster than him on this team right now.

Tyler Wade is also probably going to be the guy they go to if someone needs a day off, instead of expecting him to come off the bench, if they can help it. Meanwhile, Ronald Torreyes can offer his services as a defensive replacement late in the game. It’s likely that Drury will be a weak link with the glove, so the Yankees are going to need some help when it comes to him.

Keep in mind that plans change over the course of a season, and what might be set now could be a complete disaster several weeks in. Maybe Tyler Wade is starting before we know it, or maybe he struggles and the Yankees send him back down in order to get a better bat up there. We’ll just have to see how it all shakes out.