Alex Rodriguez isn’t due back from knee surgery until mid-August, but instead of relying on Eduardo Nunez and Brandon Laird as fill-ins the Yankees have another option at third base: Eric Chavez.
The oft-injured veteran has been on the disabled list since May with a fractured foot, but went 7-for-21 (.333) with a homer and two doubles during a brief minor-league rehab assignment and is in the Yankees’ starting lineup tonight.
Counting on Chavez to play every day is obviously crazy at this point, but using him at third base versus most right-handed pitchers while Nunez steps into the lineup against most left-handed pitchers makes some sense. Chavez hit .310 with an .834 OPS in 17 games prior to the fractured foot and was a six-time Gold Glove winner at third base before all the injuries derailed his career. Maybe he can stay healthy until Rodriguez returns in a few weeks, at least.
Yankees top prospect Gleyber Torres will be promoted to the majors this weekend, per a report from Jack Curry of the YES Network. Torres was expected to make his debut earlier in the season, but his starting date was pushed back after he suffered a bout of back tightness last Monday. Now, however, it looks like he’s finally healthy enough to make an impact on a team that’s in sore need of an offensive boost. As of Saturday evening, the team has yet to officially confirm the move.
The 21-year-old infielder has made quite the impression in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this spring, slashing .370/.415/.543 with five extra-base hits and 11 RBI in his first 53 plate appearances. Prior to the start of the 2018 season, he was ranked first overall in the Yankees’ system and fifth among the league’s best prospects (via MLB Pipeline). His numbers at the plate have been made all the more impressive by the fact that he’s only 10 months removed from Tommy John surgery on his non-throwing arm; neither the injury nor the lengthy recovery process seems to have had any detrimental effect on his game play this year.
While Torres appears most comfortable as a shortstop, he’s not expected to supplant Didi Gregorius in a starting role. Instead, it’s more likely that he’ll sub in at second and third base among the likes of Miguel Andujar, Neil Walker and Ronald Torreyes.