Why I could never stand Ronald Torreyes and why I like Gleyber Torres already:
When the histories of Ronald Torreyes and Gleyber Torres are written, they will be disparate to say the least.
Torreyes will be remembered as the little scrappy guy who played hard and was fundamentally sound at multiple positions. (I literally took “fundamentally sound” from Suzyn Waldman.) And his career .321 OBP, .387 SLG and 88 OPS+ will be overlooked as people recall his guile, hard work and on field intelligence.
The problem, my dear baseball fans is all of that is bullshit.
As previously noted on this blog, on more than one occasion, Torreyes has forgotten what his defensive responsibilities are on cutoffs. Twice (that I saw) he failed to cover a base at which he was supposed to be and it cost the Yankees an outs. We all remember how great his attention to detail was last season in the ALDS when he was picked off 2nd base shortly after being inserted as a pinch runner. Earlier this season while playing shortstop, he took a relay through from left field and forgot for a (costly) second that there might be a play at the plate and a throw may be required.
I’m not writing this to bash Torreyes. He may very well be a great guy. But the myth of fundamental soundness and intellectually sharp play negating the lack of power and on base ability must be noted for what it is: Bullshit.
After a half of a week, we obviously have no idea what Gleyber Torres’ legacy will be. But it’s a safe bet that his athleticism and natural ability will always be noted because they’re obvious and already well documented traits. However…
In the top of the 7th last night, Twins catcher Mitch Garver singled to right with a runner on 2nd base. Aaron Judge threw home (too late) but Yankees’ catcher Gary Sanchez noticed Garver too took wide of a turn rounding first base and threw to…
Gleyber Torres, who was covering first on the play. I.e., he was alert and knowledgeable enough to do his job even though he wasn’t directly involved in the play. In an effort to apply the tag quickly, he erred and Sanchez’ throw went into right field.
Physical mistakes happen. No biggie. But the take home point here is that Torres has already displayed he’s smarter, more attentive and more fundamentally sound than Torreyes. If he can hit and field the way we all hope he can, we may be looking at one of my new favorite players.
Of course, this wasn’t noted on the Simpleton Summer Camp (YES network) broadcast because, as usual, Paul O’Neill and Michael Kay were going from one nonsensical topic to another. Among their greatest hits last night…
After an Aaron Judge single with an exit velocity of 105 mph went off the glove of Minnesota shortstop Ehire Adrianza, O’Neill proclaimed “That’s where I look at exit velocity meaning something.” In other words, hitting the ball hard in other circumstances is irrelevant because the game already “has too many numbers.” Good lord, I have to remind myself that O’Neill played in the major leagues.
Michael Kay, in previewing the upcoming series with the Angles opined that perhaps Shohei Ohtani has “lit a fire” under Mike Trout. I had a similar thought – that Trout kid sure has been slacking the past few years. (Rubs temples…) He went on to say that Trout is “arguably” the best player in baseball. If I didn’t have to listen to that dopey radio show of his to find out I’d be curious what other player would be in that drivel of a hypothetical argument.
Not to be outdone, back in the studio, Jack Curry touted Didi Gregorius’ “OPS”. Jack loves OPS. Want to know why? Because, as noted on the My Baseball Page Facebook page, OPS is the statistic that media who want to sound knowledgeable about analytics but aren’t, use to make themselves sound like they know something about analytics. OPS tells us next to nothing. OPS+ and wRC+ do an exponentially better job of telling us what media think OPS is telling us.
Don’t tell that to Jack though, he’ll block you from his Twitter feed.