Sunday, March 5, 2017

From Torrens to Babe Benintendi: Sunday links, musings, cravings and secretions

In December, the Yankees seemingly lost 20-year-old Luis Torrens - best catcher prospect in their system not named Gary - when the evil Padres plucked him in the Rule 5 draft. The bastards stole him but with a string attached: They must keep him in the majors throughout 2017, or he reverts back to Yankeehood.

Thus, the evil Padres. How could a team do that to a developing kid? Force him to basically sit out an entire year? Worse, it would be the second year Torrens wasted - he missed 2015 due to injuries. The guy has played A ball. Is he really ready to be a serviceable Major League backup catcher at age 20? (And if so, yeeesh, maybe we shouldn't have left him unprotected... though in this case, I can't complain about the Yankee decision; who would expect a team to ruin a kid like this?) 

Well, Torrens has now played in six spring games and come to bat nine times. He has no hits, a walk, and he has struck out twice.  

Obviously, the Padres are giving him a long look. He's playing almost every day. At the risk of being negative about a kid who doesn't deserve it, I hereby hope that Torrens goes oh-for-March, and they cannot justify keeping him. We want this kid back. Now, some links...

You knew this would happen: Writers gush over Pine Tar Pineda's solid two inning outing yesterday. Those who can't remember the past...

The Gray Lady is stepping up as Yankee hair police. They've noticed Clint Frazier's flaming rats nest, and they're asking questions. The guy looks like Carrot Top, jacked and all. One positive: Apparently, Buck Showalter doesn't like Frazier's style, suggesting he dyes his hair. Best line in the story: "Jennifer Steinbrenner declined to comment." Apparently, she has assumed the role of Croptop Von Skullface.

Boston's Babe Benintendi has now homered in two straight games and is batting .400 this spring. Insert gulp here. If he becomes a star, it's hard to see us overtaking the true Evil Empire this year (and maybe next year, too). One hope: Minor League guru John Sickels now ranks the Redsocks' farm system 24th. (Other "experts" put Boston around 18th and 16th.) Last year, and for many seasons, they were ranked in the top five. 

Listen: Overall, these rankings are pure TedTalk-level crapola. But aside from Raphael Devers, a promising infielder, Boston has virtually emptied its prospect coffers via trades. It will be interesting to see if they reload with Cuban and Japanese signings, while Hal continues to sit out meaningful auctions until A-Rod is a distant memory. I'm tired of hearing how brilliant Brian Cashman was last July... for doing what every other team in baseball has done for the last 20 years. And dammit, since when are we being outsmarted by the San Diego Padres?

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