Yankees: Gleyber Torres’ struggles going under the radar after 8-1 start
Though the Yankees are just fine, Gleyber Torres is having significant issues at the plate.
Nobody’s complaining. The New York Yankees have the best record in baseball at 8-1 and continue to pummel whatever team is put in front of them. The weekend sweep of the Boston Red Sox followed by a convincing win over the Philadelphia Phillies have fans in high spirits.
However, the Yankees’ impressive success thus far, coupled with the issues in the starting rotation, have overshadowed the struggles of Gleyber Torres, who isn’t playing great defense (-0.2 dWAR and three errors in 2020) and is having some serious problems in the batter’s box.
Perhaps getting hit in the elbow has played a big role, but Torres has done pretty much nothing since his big day in Washington last Sunday when the Yankees capped off a late-inning comeback to steal the series against the Nats. Torres provided a solo home run to wake up the offense and then the go-ahead RBI that day.
Through the team’s first nine games (eight of which he’s played in) the 23-year-old is slashing .179/.258/.286 with two runs scored, one homer and two RBI. He’s just 1-for-10 with runners on base, too.
What’s even worse is that, while he’s putting the bat on ball and cutting down on strikeouts, he’s not making good contact. If you’ve been watching, you can see most of his batted balls are pop ups, easy fly outs, or routine grounders. Reducing on strikeouts is great, but if your balls in play don’t make the defense work, then you might as well go down looking.
On the surface, it appears as if Torres is getting under the ball and/or not waiting on pitches. He’s weakly pulling a lot of his hits, which could suggest he’s jumping the gun and swinging way too early.
Is this anything to “worry” about? Probably not. Just because players aren’t getting off to scorching starts after a four-month layoff doesn’t mean that’s going to characterize the rest of their season. But it’s important to note that Torres could be dealing with some mechanical/timing issues and they shouldn’t be overlooked.
Could the full-time transition to shortstop be distracting him a bit and adding pressure to this shortened campaign? Sure. But he’s an integral part of the Yankees’ well-oiled machine and it’ll eventually be a problem if he doesn’t figure things out on both sides of the ball.
Then again, if there’s any year to have some sort of growing pains, it’s definitely one where the rest of the team is healthy, mashing and playing in only 60 regular-season games.