Today, the Yankees broke the hearts of a lot of fans. After claiming RHP Parker Bridwell from the Angels the Yankees designated fan favorite utility man, Ronald Torreyes for assignment. Torreyes became a Yankee in 2016 and maintained a bench role for the entire season. His role remained the same in 2017 where he again remained with the big league club for the entire year. Toe became a fan favorite because of his remarkable talent to come off the bench (sometimes without playing for days) and produce offensively. Some other memorable Toe trademarks include Aaron Judge lifting him over his shoulder to celebrate home runs and the short lived but very entertaining, Toe-Night Show. While it’s perfectly acceptable to miss Torreyes, you really shouldn’t be all that shaken up over it. Let’s not forget that Toe isn’t short for “Tony Gwynn”. While Torreyes was able to hit for high average, his power numbers were nonexistent. Yes, the Yankees will miss his fun presence in the clubhouse, but Ronald Torreyes shouldn’t be a reason to hate the Yankees front office.
Now, onto Bridwell. You may faintly remember Parker Bridwell’s name from the 2017 season, where he was called up towards the beginning of the year by the Angels, seemingly a nobody, and posted a 3.64 in 20 starts. However, it would be foolish to harp on 2017 too much as Bridwell made only 5 appearances (1 start) in 2018. Nevertheless, let’s go over the 3 possible outcomes for Bridwell in 2019;
1. He never sees the light of day.
It is very possible that Bridwell spends all of his time in the Yankees’ organization in AAA, if he even gets that far. There are a lot more moves to be made this offseason and if he’s taking up someone’s spot, Brian Cashman will turn Parker Bridwell into a distant memory very quickly.
2. Luis Cessa 2.0
It is no secret that Luis Cessa has been one of, if not the most hated Yankees of the past few years. Cessa makes about 10 appearances a year and still manages to be universally hated. That being said, Bridwell may be the Yankees new emergency starter. If Bridwell can be half of what he was in 2017 he is an upgrade over Cessa. Yeah, it’s a huge “if” but it might be a risk the Yanks are willing to take.
3. A.J. Cole 2.0
Did somebody say hated Yankees? A.J. Cole came to the Yankees in a very similar way that Bridwell has. With Cole, nobody thought anything of him until he became a great option out of the pen... for about a month... and then he became terrible. Cole was dreadful for a vast majority of his time spent with the Yankees, which is exactly why the Yankees need an upgrade in the long relief category. Bridwell has only made 7 relief appearances in his brief career, but we’ve seen many pitchers make the seamless transition from rotation to pen many times before.
Is this a bit much for a guy who probably won’t even touch the Yankee Stadium mound in 2019? Yes, but Bridwell could serve a purpose in 2019, so don’t be too surprised if he does.