The Yankees spent a season taking part in Gleyber Torres out of position at shortstop and now are taking part in others out of position to maintain his bat within the lineup. That would make extra sense if, you recognize, he had proven his bat was price maintaining within the lineup.
Maybe Torres will get scorching. Aaron Boone steered that is why he is taking part in a 3rd baseman (Gio Urshela) at brief and a second baseman (DJ LeMahieu) at third, in order that Torres can man second. The Yankee supervisor theorized that eradicating the load of taking part in brief and the negativity that flowed from it when a mistake was made will unburden Torres mentally and, maybe, liberate his bat from soft-contact purgatory.
“I think at our best, Gleyber Torres is going to play a big part in that,” Boone stated. “I still feel his best baseball is ahead of him. I felt the timing was right.”
Of course, Boone has two public postures about struggling Yankees: 1) they don’t seem to be struggling practically as a lot as perceived and a couple of) they’re nearly to interrupt out to brilliance. Boone is by no means going to be publicly essential of his gamers. He is all the time going to decide on optimism, which is positive. But so usually there’s a positive line between optimism and delusion.
Because to see a revival in Torres is to simply shun an offensive slide that started within the shortened 2020 season and has worsened this year. The 5 ¹/₂ months of 2021 proof exhibits a participant who started Tuesday with an 86 OPS-plus and 442 plate appearances. Of the 143 gamers who had collected that many instances at bat, solely 15 had a worse OPS-plus. Many fell into the middle-of-the-diamond defensive stalwart on a non-contending workforce class (assume Pittsburgh’s Kevin Newman, Texas’ Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Kansas City’s Michael A. Taylor).
Torres was no middle-of-the-diamond defensive stalwart. By the way in which, that was true when he performed second in his career, too. Naturally, Boone stated he expects Torres to play properly on each side of the ball. But, to this point, Torres has exemplified the Yankees’ greatest 2021 drawback.
For the energy of the workforce many of the year has been pitching. But the dearth of offense has stored the Yankees from having fun with many laughers, forcing pitchers to compile one heavy stress inning after one other. A poor protection has given opponents further base runners and outs, including to workloads simply to get by means of innings. The mixture has conspired to depart the Yankee energy extra injured and exhausted within the ultimate weeks of what now is a every day dogfight simply to get into the wild-card recreation. The poster youngster for this offense/protection deficiency is Torres.
At this level, the Yanks is likely to be incapable of defibrillating their offense. But their greatest protection is Urshela at third, LeMahieu at second and both Andrew Velazquez or Tyler Wade at brief. It has principally gone unnoticed, however since Aug. 1, amongst gamers with 100 plate appearances, Rougned Odor’s .507 OPS was the majors’ third worst. Odor brings spirit and a few lefty energy menace off the bench. But is he actually a greater use of a 28-man roster spot than the just lately demoted Velazquez?
And baked into this for the Yankees is that this is not simply an finish of 2021 problem. What have they got in Torres transferring ahead? As just lately as 2019, Torres was talked about prominently within the dynamic 22-and-under group with gamers reminiscent of Ronald Acuna Jr., Bo Bichette, Rafael Devers, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Juan Soto and Fernando Tatis Jr. But because the others have all improved, Torres’ 2019 is feeling aberrational, fueled by hitting 13 homers with a 1.512 OPS in 18 video games towards the dreadful Orioles.
“We forget he is still a young player,” Boone stated of Torres, who turns 25 in December. “He’s had massive success at the big league level. I still think there is a chance for him to be an impact player in this league for a long time.”
It is why will probably be so tough for the Yankees to maneuver on. They don’t wish to quit on him, promote low and see him re-emerge elsewhere. It is an actual concern — Torres is clearly gifted. But the Yanks felt equally about Miguel Andujar, Greg Bird, Clint Frazier and Gary Sanchez. How has that labored out?
Plus, if the Yanks do maintain Torres, are they immediately re-upping their defensive points since LeMahieu must play out of position?
It took a very long time for the Yankees to lastly agree with the consensus — Torres is not a shortstop. Next up: how lengthy do they stick with him as a Yankee?