PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Infield prospect Gleyber Torres started at second base against the Rays in Tuesday's 10-6 loss as manager Joe Girardi continues to emphasize versatility among his infielders.Torres, who made his first start at second base on March 5, said he felt pretty comfortable at the position.Girardi said
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Infield prospect Gleyber Torres started at second base against the Rays in Tuesday's 10-6 loss as manager Joe Girardi continues to emphasize versatility among his infielders.
Torres, who made his first start at second base on March 5, said he felt pretty comfortable at the position.
Girardi said there's no situation in which a team can carry fewer than 12 pitchers, so infielders have to be able to play multiple positions.
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"It's been a focus of mine. I had a long talk with [VP of player development] Gary Denbo about needing to create more versatility," Girardi said. "Sometimes you go to 13 pitchers because your bullpen is exhausted and you don't want to send a guy down, or there's certain guys that can't be sent down. You've got to have flexibility.
"You think about our extra infielder this year, he's going to have to play everywhere. And here's the other thing. Every shortstop has a chance to play on that side of the diamond anyway because of shifts, so why not teach it?"
Girardi said that prospect Tyler Wade, who can play shortstop, second base, third base and all three outfield positions, is the type of "super utility" player he wants the Yankees to develop.
Ellsbury enjoying solid spring: Outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury normally doesn't have eye-popping stats during Spring Training, but this year he has a slash line of .348/.423/.522 in 23 at-bats.
Girardi is happy with the way Ellsbury is swinging the bat and with how much he's running, but he can't guarantee that the hot spring will immediately carry over to the regular season.
"I think it can," Girardi said. "It's so hard to predict how guys are going to start when they leave Spring Training. You can feel like you're leaving here in the best spot possible, and all of a sudden, you start with a 1-for-14 and you're like, 'How did this happen?' It's just hard to figure out. As much as you try to figure it out, you can't figure it out."
Corey Long is a contributor to MLB.com.