We have yet another New York Yankee who got off to a promising start and has somehow overstayed his welcome: Gleyber Torres. Fans wish it weren’t this way, but Torres hasn’t left anyone a choice.
Gary Sánchez was once the poster boy of this eternal Yankees problem. He represented the front office clinging to talent they wish would continue reaching new heights, as they instead watched the roster sputter out and continually regress beyond belief.
Torres is making a damn good case to join Sánchez on the Mount Rushmore of Disappointing Former Stars Who Continue to Make Fans Want to Punch a Wall, if his face hasn’t already been chiseled into the rock yet.
Despite various defensive lapses, a failure to take on a bigger role, and concerns regarding his hustle and effort, the Yankees have done almost everything in their power — with the exception of GM Brian Cashman blasting Torres for coming into 2020 out of shape — to reward and make any and all accommodations for the former star.
They never really bumped him to the bottom of the lineup, despite an offensive regression for the history books. They moved him back to second base because he couldn’t handle the pressure of playing shortstop. They continue to regard him as a premier asset in trade talks. All the while, he continues to do stuff like this despite getting his way:
Gleyber Torres cannot be on the 2023 New York Yankees roster
This is not to minimize the overall good defense Torres has played at second base this year. It is, however, a reminder that his baseball instincts remain poor. Remember what happened against the Mets last week? And last year?! We all saw it. These kinds of lapses happen far too consistently for someone who’s supposed to be a star.
And when manager Aaron Boone calls you out, you know you’re in a bad place, since he’s never publicly critical of anybody.
Then you have the complete other end of the spectrum, where Torres decides to near-pimp a home run that was a routine fly ball to center field.
With the way Torres has been playing over the last couple months, perhaps it’s best he just runs as fast as he can around the bases any time he makes contact. After an All-Star-esque first half, Torres is now hitting .242 with a .714 OPS, 103 OPS+, 56 runs scored, 18 homers, 50 RBI and 102 strikeouts on the season. Outside of his home runs and doubles, these numbers are average to below-average.
Torres with RISP? .188 AVG with a .541 OPS. Torres in high-leverage situations? .229 AVG with a .662 OPS. Once the Yankees started battling injuries, Torres’ play cratered. His first two seasons were adversity-free, and his last three were packed with it, and his play has responded as poorly as possible. He’s been a below-average player since the start of 2020.
And if this kind of stuff is still happening in August of his fifth MLB season, then there’s no wonder why fans have heard his name pop up in trade talks multiple times over the last calendar year. If his time in New York didn’t end at this year’s deadline, many would be willing to bet his fate is already sealed for the 2023 season.