The Yankees are facing a major problem at second base

MLB: Atlanta Braves at New York Yankees
Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

All eyes are on the trade deadline in late July for the New York Yankees, who desperately need reinforcements at multiple positions. However, second base wasn’t expected to be a problem heading into the 2024 season. Yet, it’s become one of their biggest liabilities, with Gleyber Torres all but losing his confidence due to his lack of hustle this week.

Torres’ Decline from Previous Season’s Highs

Torres is coming off a fantastic 2023 campaign when the Yankees essentially had nothing to play for. He hit .273/.347/.453, including 25 homers and 68 RBIs, with a career-low 14.6% strikeout rate, 10% walk rate, and 123 wRC+. Torres enjoyed the most WAR in his career at 3.8, but fast forward to nearly halfway through this season, and the Yankees have seen an entirely different player.

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The Yankees Need More From Gleyber

One of the biggest criticisms of Torres is his volatility. He’s not performing offensively, and his defense has been just as inconsistent. The Yankees were forced to bench him on Wednesday in favor of Oswaldo Cabrera, another liability on offense but a bit more proficient with his glove.

As mentioned, the Yankees simply can’t replace every position, and they need Torres to step up and provide reasonable results. He likely assumed that his bat would come around at some point, but that has been far from the case, and he’s only gotten worse as the season has progressed. His facial expressions on the bench during Wednesday’s blowout loss to the Mets were everything the fans needed to see to assume he might not turn things around and that his time with the Yankees was coming to an end.

Cabrera’s Role and Performance

With that being said, Cabrera is even worse offensively, hitting .238/.281/.349, including five homers and 25 RBIs, with an 81 wRC+. Torres is hitting .215 with a .294 OBP, including seven homers and 29 RBIs. In other words, the Yankees went from bad to worse, but he will hustle and give everything he has on any given night; that’s more than what Torres has provided recently.

MLB: Atlanta Braves at New York Yankees
Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Additional Roster Challenges

The problem is that the Yankees could also use a first baseman. It is unlikely that they address first base with Ben Rice at the position and Anthony Rizzo eventually returning from a fracture in his right arm. However, there are too many holes opening up, and their golden start to this season has quickly deteriorated into a problematic scenario that General Manager Brian Cashman may not be able to remedy entirely.

The Need for a Turnaround

The Yankees need Torres to change course and start to improve. The second half of the year could be more fruitful, and given he’s expected to be a productive middle-of-the-order bat, they simply can’t survive during the postseason without his production increasing substantially.

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