Yankees: Gleyber Torres hits IL, former Oriole arrives as replacement
By Adam Weinrib
As has been the case throughout 2021 for the Yankees, another important player has hit the IL at a crucial time after suffering an injury on an extra-effort play that turned out all for naught.
Gleyber Torres, who’s only just begun to look like his old self (though still powerless), tried to swipe an extra bag midway through Sunday’s scoreless affair and stole it cleanly with a head-first slide.
Never…never slide head-first, though, folks.
Torres immediate came up lame, holding his hand in clear pain, and though he tried to gut out the remainder of the game, his one-handed single in his next AB made it clear something was very wrong.
Luckily (?), things don’t seem to be quite as wrong as we feared; Torres has been diagnosed with a thumb sprain and will hit the 10-Day IL, though we have to admit it looked like a season-ender when it happened (and seemed like one when the normally-cagey Aaron Boone expressed concern in the postgame).
Taking his roster spot will be…Nick Nelson?! Well, yes, but look beyond that. The team has also added former Orioles utility man Andrew Velazquez to the MLB roster, who should be able to do a reasonable Torres impression for a short time…at least, in the field.
Yankees place Gleyber Torres on IL, promote Andrew Velazquez
Velazquez is a Bronx native, which occasionally helps create a little magic during these types of dire circumstances, but no, he’s not the kind of ballplayer Torres typically is. There’s no sugar-coating his .159 average during Baltimore’s 2020 season, but his 2021 sample at Triple-A has been reasonably solid, with seven homers, 43 RBI, a .283 average and an .838 OPS.
Maybe he’s been motivated knowing a shot at the Bronx is just an injury or two (or 3,000…) away?
Torres’ 2021 hasn’t felt all that special (and hasn’t been), but since the All-Star break, he’s been quietly contributing quite a bit.
All we can hope for now is the kid from Fordham Prep taking an opportunity and running with it, continuing an above-average stint at the minor-league level on a slightly larger stage.
At the very least, we hope he helps us forget about Tyler Wade, who’s likely to get Monday’s start.
Once everything settles, the Yankees could theoretically go with Gio Urshela at short, with Rougned Odor/DJ LeMahieu at either third or second. Theoretically. Whatever gives us the least amount of Wade possible, that’s what we endorse.