The Yankees’ roster is certainly not lacking for star power, but over the last three seasons, one of the team’s most consistent hitters has been perhaps one of the most unheralded players on the roster: Gio Urshela.
After being DFA’d and then traded for cash considerations by the Toronto Blue Jays, Urshela has emerged as an everyday player for the Yankees, and his 2021 season also featured a position change from third base to shortstop.
Prior to this past season, Urshela had played just 13 career games at shortstop, and none since the 2018 season. But with Gleyber Torres struggling in his switch to shortstop, the Yankees reshuffled the infield late in the year, moving Urshela from third to short and Torres back to his more natural second base spot.
Speaking to Ken Davidoff of the New York Post on Tuesday, Urshela discussed the position change.
“I played my entire minor leagues [and major leagues] at third base. Then, moving to shortstop, I kind of liked it,” Urshela told The Post. “I really enjoyed playing shortstop because you get more involved in the game. Every play, you’re going to be involved. Third base, I just wait for the [ball] and that’s it. You don’t move that much. It feels a little bit different, like you get more tired probably after a game [at shortstop].
“You’ve got to move … but at the same time, I like it.”
Urshela also told The Post that he’d be fine playing wherever the Yankees decide is best in 2022.
The infielder’s offensive numbers were a bit down in 2021, as he slashed .267/.301/.419, all down from his first couple of seasons in the Bronx. Interestingly enough, though, Urshela’s offensive output was much better in the 26 games he played at short (.292/.308/.449) compared to the hot corner (.255/.296/.400).
The Yankees are entering a pivotal offseason with plenty of questions up and down the roster, but it sounds as if Urshela will be happy to play wherever he’s needed on the left side of the diamond.