The Yankees have a Gleyber Torres problem

Alexander Wilson
gleyber torres, new york yankees
Aug 23, 2022; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres (25) throws the ball to first base for an out during the ninth inning against the New York Mets at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees have strung together two consecutive wins, stealing a game against the Tampa Bay Rays to finish off a three-game series down south and securing the series opener against the Minnesota Twins over a four game set.

Wins have been hard to come by for a struggling Yankee team that continues to fall short offensively. Several individual players are playing below their means, specifically Aaron Hicks, Josh Donaldson, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, DJ LeMahieu, and Gleyber Torres.

I want to focus on Torres, who has seen significant regression as the season has worn on. In the month of August, the 25-year-old infielder posted a .180 average with a 20.4% on-base rate. He recorded two homers and five RBIs over 100 at-bats — disappointing metrics that don’t reflect his dominant July.

In July, he hit .292 with a 35% on-base rate, three homers, and 14 RBIs over 96 at-bats. A significant downturn wasn’t expected, but Gleyber is happy to get out of August and look toward September, where he can hopefully resurrect his season.

“Thank God August is done,” he told NJ Advance Media. “It’s September right now. Just, really, mentality-wise, I’m staying really positive to (make) an adjustment really quick and try to hit better.”

The Yankees still aren’t seeing the normal Gleyber Torres:

However, September hasn’t started off too hot, hosting a .182 batting average with an 18% on-base rate. He’s tallied two hits over 11 at-bats, striking out four times. On the season, Torres now features a .240 average with a 29% on-base rate, 18 homers, and 51 RBIs. While his home run totals are reminiscent of his 2018-19 seasons, his strikeout rate has bubbled to 22.7% and hosts a career-low walk rate of 5.9%.

Even more disappointing, Torres has been virtually useless with runners in scoring position, one of the primary reasons the Yankees’ offense has tapered off after the All-Star break. With RISP, Torres is batting .193 with a 24.2% on-base rate, including two homers and 28 RBIs over 114 at-bats.

At some point, the Bombers need to make a difficult decision with Gleyber, benching him for rookie Oswald Peraza or continuing to feed him reps in hopes he breaks out of his current funk.

Ever since Torres was included in potential trade talks with Miami Marlins in regard to SP Pablo Lopez, his confidence has been shot. Not only does he seem distracted, but his entire process has been thrown off.

A step in the right direction defensively:

Defensively, he’s been adequate at the very least, hosting a .982 fielding percentage over 892 innings at second base. He’s given up seven errors but does host six defensive runs saved above average, the best metric in his career.

The problem is that manager Aaron Boone knows how talented Gleyber is and what he provides at the top of his game. They need that version of Torres during the postseason, otherwise, the infield remains a liability.