Did Yankees’ Marcus Stroman wake up ice-cold infielder with criticism?

MLB: Atlanta Braves at New York Yankees
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Yankees veteran starter Marcus Stroman gave up three earned runs over 4.1 innings before being pulled from the game in the fifth during Friday’s 16-5 victory over Toronto. With the bases loaded, Stroman needed a ground ball to execute a double play and escape the inning unscathed.

Unfortunately, Gleyber Torres was unable to collect and fire the ball quickly enough to first base, allowing Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to beat out the throw.

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at New York Yankees
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Emotional Outburst Sparks Yankees Rally

Stroman’s visible frustration and subsequent outburst at Torres showcased a raw emotion that might have been the jolt the Yankees’ infielder needed to shake off his slump. Despite giving up two runs that inning, the Yankees immediately responded with six runs, highlighted by a two-run homer from Torres himself. This response might signify a turning point for Torres, who has been underperforming for the past few months.

“It was frustrating,” Stroman said. “At the end of the day, I feel like I made a good pitch and that was a big spot. I wanted to have that turn there. We didn’t, so raw emotion comes out.”

Torres Responds to Criticism with Performance

After the game, Torres acknowledged Stroman’s reaction, appreciating the emotional support following his home run. It seems the intense moment on the field was a catalyst for Torres to step up, particularly poignant as he navigates through a contract year.

“I really understand. I don’t have any issues with that,” Torres said. “I know how hard the game is, so I think it’s part of the game when you got that type of relationship with your teammates. … He always is the guy (who) supports everybody, and I know everybody is cheering in those type of moments. To see all my teammates on the dugout waiting for me, that’s really great for me.”

The Ongoing Struggle and Potential Turnaround

Torres’s season has been less than stellar, with a batting line of .219/.296/.346, including eight homers and 32 RBIs, coupled with an 86 wRC+. He’s also on track to commit over 20 errors this year and record a career-low fielding percentage. These struggles might force Torres to consider settling for a more favorable contract or a one-year “prove it” deal to maximize his value in the future.

MLB: Chicago White Sox at New York Yankees, gleyber torres
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A Necessary Wake-Up Call

The episode between Stroman and Torres not only highlighted the tensions within the team but also served as a necessary confrontation.

The Yankees hope this moment serves as a wake-up call for Torres, who has demonstrated the ability to be a productive player, as evidenced by his .273 average with 25 homers and 68 RBIs last season. As the team progresses through the season, they will need Torres to regain his form and contribute significantly if they are to contend for a championship.

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