NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It’s hard to put a price tag on Ronald Torreyes’ value to the Yankees.
The 5-foot-8 spark plug has filled in for injured infielders all season, hitting .284 and playing impeccable defense along the way.
But soon he’ll be back on the bench.
With starting second baseman Starlin Castro on the verge of returning to the Yankees following a second disabled list stint due to a balky hamstring, Torreyes will return to his versatile ways, getting the occasional start and coming on as a defensive replacement late in games.
He’s fine with it.
“That won’t be difficult at all. I will go back to the utility role and keep doing my work,’’ Torreyes told the New York Post this week. “I am actually excited that Castro is coming back. That’s what we need for the team.’’
Torreyes has started a combined 73 games at second base, shortstop and third, and has come up with clutch hit after clutch hit. Though his power numbers aren’t much (three home runs, 33 RBIs), the 25-year-old Venezuelan has done basically everything else admirably, including being one of the Bombers’ smartest situational hitters.
“I am super happy for the opportunity the team has given me, happy the manager has trusted me to do the job,’’ Torreyes said. “I am very happy to do the little things, get a bunt down and getting the runner over. That makes me happy to help win some ballgames.’’
Castro had been on pace for 200 hits, but the leg problems have turned his season into one of frustration. However, once he returns he’ll bring an All-Star bat and a solid glove to the Yankees’ push for a playoff berth. New York (66-57) entered Tuesday’s opener of a three-game series in Detroit as the owner of the first wild card and with a manageable deficit of 4 1/2 games to make up in the AL East race.
Following the series against the Tigers, the Yankees will begin a massive 10-game homestand, against the playoff-hopeful Seattle Mariners, Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox.