Phillies bring back one of Joe Girardi’s all-time favorite players

Jul 16, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Ronald Torreyes (74) throws to first for an out against the Miami Marlins during the sixth inning at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 16, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Ronald Torreyes (74) throws to first for an out against the Miami Marlins during the sixth inning at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /
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Phillies re-sign favorite utilityman Ronald Torreyes to a minor-league deal

Between the blockbuster additions of Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos, Philadelphia Phillies manager Joe Girardi was already having a pretty good week.

And then the Phillies made a significantly lower-level signing to bring back a player near and dear to their manager’s heart: utilityman Ronald Torreyes.

The Phillies outrighted Torreyes last fall, and he elected free agency, but at the time, I predicted they’d still bring him back. After all, he can play second, shortstop, and third base, and the Phillies infield remains unchanged from last season, at least, until Bryson Stott gets called up.

Torreyes played in a career-high 111 games in 2021 and hit .242/.286/.346 with a .632 OPS. Hidden in those numbers were some of the most clutch moments of the Phillies season, including his career-high seven home runs, more than double his previous benchmark.

Last season, Girardi raved about Torreyes, whom he’s managed on the Yankees and the Phillies throughout their respective careers:

"“He does so many things right. People say, ‘Why do you love Torreyes?’ He’s a ballplayer. That’s what he is. He really understands the game and I trust him wherever I put him. I don’t ever have to worry about him being prepared. That’s a luxury for a manager. I don’t know where we’d be without him.”"

The Phillies manager wasn’t the only one impressed by Torreyes – affectionately known as ‘Toe’ by his teammates – in 2021. His defense and clutchness earned the respect of former Phillies player-turned-GM-turned-broadcaster Ruben Amaro Jr., Kevin Frandsen, and countless fans.

Amaro was thrilled to see Torreyes in Clearwater on Sunday:

While the signing doesn’t exactly move the needle the way Schwarber’s and Castellanos’ deals do, it’s great to have Toe back.

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