When shortstop Didi Gregorius went down with an elbow injury that resulted in Tommy John surgery, the New York Yankees realized they would need to fill his role with a competent player.
Signing former All-Star Troy Tulowitzki was a great move in regard to money-spent, but his offensive production isn’t even close to what Didi produced in 2018. In fact, the primary reason he was brought on was to add two Gold-Gloves and defensive prowess to the infield.
The Yankees’ infield was one of the worst in the league last year due to inexperience and youth at third base, second base, and at catcher. Adding Tulo on a veteran minimum deal was an absolute steal as the Toronto Blue Jays pay out his $20 million deal.
The New York Yankees saw exactly what they wanted to see from Tulo early on:
The Yankees’ acquisition started off the spring with a bang, launching an emotional solo shot against his former club. It was his first live action since 2017 as he missed all of 2018 with an injury.
In his first six at-bats, he recorded three hits and two homers. Since then, he’s 0-8 with six strikeouts. On Friday, he struck out three consecutive times. While he’s undoubtedly still working out the kinks in his game after being inactive for so long, it’s concerning to see inconsistency as we approach opening day.
Manager Aaron Boone commented on Tulo’s hitting:
“He’s a little behind,” Boone said. “Against Phllly, I thought he had a couple good at-bats. When he struck out to open the game, I thought he had some real good swings. He was fouling some pitches straight back. I feel like his swing looks good. He’s staying on balance for the most part.
The Bombers will utilize their youth appropriately:
Fortunately, his defense has looked elite and will provide immediate value at shortstop. It’s expected that Gleyber Torres will also receive reps at SS to keep Tulo healthy. DJ LeMahieu will rotate around in the infield to maintain health and fatigue throughout the season.