If Yankees' Gleyber Torres is battling an injury, why did he play through Tuesday?

Gleyber Torres "the idea" is still an impactful piece. Gleyber Torres "the reality" isn't.
Baltimore Orioles v New York Yankees
Baltimore Orioles v New York Yankees / Adam Hunger/GettyImages

After Tuesday night's blowout-turned-frenzied-weirdness-turned-loss at Citi Field, echoes of variations on, "We need Gleyber Torres to be an impact bat against lefties during this particular stretch" reverberated throughout press conference after mealy-mouthed press conference.

Wrong. The Yankees could really use 2023's Gleyber Torres right now, but the 2024 edition, stung by the pressures of a walk year since the moment the curtain rose, isn't valuable at all.

But instead of acknowledging three months of reality, Aaron Boone held a press conference that treated Torres' poor defense like jazz, begging to be asked about the routine plays he does make rather than the ones he botches. Instead of taking Torres to task for his lax effort running out a ground ball in the eighth inning (his choice), he posited that the infielder's tight groin had become a bigger issue as the game proceeded. Torres echoed as much when he was spoken to after the 9-7 loss, where the ground ball that skidded under his glove became a bigger factor than anyone could've imagined when it made the score 7-1.

This perceived lack of hustle would've been a talking point in any series. With Carlos Mendoza in the other dugout, the man who purportedly got on Torres repeatedly in recent years every time he dogged it, the issue was magnified.

So, with the Yankees far from dead but certainly covered in a midsummer fungus, it's worth asking: If every win still matters, and the team's best players should be playing every day, why is someone who's been a net negative for nearly three months is being asked to play hurt?

Yankees shouldn't be asking a struggling, injured Gleyber Torres to play unhealthy baseball

The New York Yankees could really use a return to form from Gleyber Torres, especially with Giancarlo Stanton and Jasson Dominguez on the shelf. They do not need a hobbled, checked-out Torres at all. They certainly don't need him batting cleanup. If he's too hurt to run, he's too hurt to play.

JD Davis could slide DJ LeMahieu to second base, or off the ledge entirely and onto the shelf himself, where he should currently be situated. Oswaldo Cabrera can play second. Ben Rice should be playing damn near every day. Did anyone else notice the tone shift in Tuesday's game began when Rice and Austin Wells checked in? Did anyone else notice the tone shifted right back when Torres grounded out to end the eighth, either too injured to move or seeking an excuse?

Torres is far from the team's only issue, at the moment. To satisfy the internet denizens who demand that every criticism of one player also include every other struggling player, DJ LeMahieu's been even worse; if his foot's still barking, then he, too, should be forcibly sidelined. The ground ball he ran around in the bottom of the eighth was just as glaring as anything Torres did.

But Torres' hustle was the motor in question at the end of the game, and the Yankees' reasoning for his lapses served as a loud argument for a breather. Wednesday night, he received one, held out for the Subway Series finale. Only time will tell if the Yankees wised up long-term.