Torres was in the running for the starting job at second this spring before struggling … and before the Yankees signed free agent Neil Walker to share time there with youngster Tyler Wade.
Walker (.183, 0 HR, 3 RBIs, 15 games) and Wade (.086, 0 HR, 4 RBIs, 15 games) have struggled badly in the early going for the Yankees, who beat Toronto 9-1 on Saturday but are off to a disappointing 9-8 start that has them far behind the AL East-leading Boston Red Sox, who went into Saturday with a 17-2 record.
Udoka understands this aspect of the job, saying: “I think regardless of how I approach things, if Pop is getting on the guys, we gotta play some good cop, bad cop with them.
“He’s going hard on the guys and is very demanding on them and we have to at times give them some love and help build them back up when Pop gets on them. Overall my approach is similar to Pop, very demanding as well, but don’t get rattled on the outside.”
Foles’ market changed markedly after taking over for the injured Wentz and leading the Eagles to their first Super Bowl title in franchise history and claiming game MVP honors.
Garafolo reports that Philly’s reshuffling of Foles’ deal has nothing to do with the health of Wentz, who is not guaranteed to be ready to play in the season opener against the Atlanta Falcons. Wentz is still recovering from a torn ACL and LCL suffered in Week 14 last season, but reiterated this week that, while it’s hard to put a timetable on his recovery, starting Week 1 is “still the goal.”
Garafolo clarified that Foles’ deal was instead redone to reward the journeyman with a pay bump for his performance in the postseason while also providing him the opportunity to hit free agency next spring if he decides to do so.
His career rejuvenated, Foles received speculative trade interest this offseason, and the 29-year-old quarterback is open to being a starting quarterback again, somewhere.