The Yankees’ batting order could get even better with ice-cold infielder heating up

MLB: New York Yankees at Minnesota Twins, gleyber torres
Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees delivered a commanding performance against the Minnesota Twins on Thursday afternoon, securing a series sweep with robust offensive support and an exceptional outing from starting pitcher Clarke Schmidt. Schmidt pitched 8.0 scoreless innings, effectively lowering his ERA to 2.49.

Torres Shows Signs of Improvement

While Aaron Judge continued his impressive streak, infielder Gleyber Torres, who had been struggling, showed signs of resurgence. He contributed two hits, including a run and an RBI, in the victory. This season, Torres’s batting average stands at .223, with a .301 on-base percentage and a .295 slugging percentage, marking a significant drop from his previous year’s performance. His strikeout rate has increased to 23%, up nearly 8% from 2023.

Torres started the season as the primary leadoff hitter, but Anthony Volpe has since taken over that role, causing Torres to drop in the batting order.

However, on Thursday, he batted fifth, showing potential for recovery. In his contract year, the 27-year-old has seen a spike in production over the last seven days, with a .273 batting average and a .500 slugging percentage from 22 at-bats. Over the past 15 days, he has hit .244/.333/.422 across 45 at-bats, indicating that he might be finding his form.

MLB: New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays, gleyber torres
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The Yankees Have a Big Decision to Make Long Term

If Torres wishes to secure his future with the Yankees and potentially sign a lucrative deal, he needs to maintain this newfound consistency—something that has been a challenge for him in the past. Despite his expressed desire to stay with the team, which he regards as family, General Manager Brian Cashman has been more reserved, frequently including him in trade discussions over recent seasons, hinting at a possible departure in free agency.

Defensively, Torres has been somewhat problematic, posting a .968 fielding percentage over 383.1 innings, with -1 defensive run saved and two outs above average. While decent, the Yankees might consider relying on younger talent or pursuing another second baseman who could offer more cost-effective control through arbitration.

Given the financial commitments to players like Giancarlo Stanton, who earns over $30 million, and the constraints posed by other significant contracts, the Yankees face tough choices. With extensions needed for Juan Soto, Alex Verdugo, and possibly Torres, the team will likely prioritize financial flexibility over retaining all current players.

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