The Yankees have no choice but to survive with 2 ice-cold infielders

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees, gleyber torres
Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees faced a disappointing night against the Mets on Tuesday, missing crucial opportunities to capitalize on their rivals’ erratic pitching due to underperformances by some key veteran hitters.

Missed Opportunities and Veteran Struggles

While Juan Soto and Aaron Judge combined to score six runs, other vital members of the lineup, notably DJ LeMahieu and Gleyber Torres, failed to contribute effectively. Despite Judge’s late-game heroics, including a grand slam in the eighth inning that brought the Yankees within two runs, it was not enough to turn the game around. Torres’ critical strikeout with the bases loaded in the first inning set the tone for a night of missed chances, as the team failed to score during that crucial moment.

Over the course of the evening, Torres struck out twice in four at-bats, and LeMahieu, who needed to step up and help offset the gap left by Giancarlo Stanton, managed only a walk and a strikeout.

MLB: New York Yankees at Kansas City Royals
Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Torres’ Disappointing Season and Future With the Yankees

Currently, Torres is experiencing the worst season of his career, batting .215/.294/.333 with seven homers and 29 RBIs. His contract year is not going as planned, with a high strikeout rate of 23.9% and a modest walk rate of 9.5%. Given his underwhelming performance, it appears likely that the Yankees will not retain him beyond this year, allowing him to seek a long-term deal elsewhere or sign a one-year “prove-it” contract with another team. This decision is pivotal as the Yankees plan significant financial commitments, including a potential $450+ million extension for Juan Soto.

Defensive Woes Add to the Concern

Torres’ inconsistency extends to his defense, where he is on track to commit over 20 errors this season, evidenced by a .960 fielding percentage and -4 defensive runs saved. His volatility and lack of defensive reliability are major concerns for the Yankees, who are in desperate need of consistency at second base.

MLB: New York Yankees at Kansas City Royals
Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

LeMahieu’s Struggles Since Injury

LeMahieu hasn’t fared much better, especially since returning from a right foot injury. His performance at the plate has been dismal, with a batting line of .174/.275/.174, including zero homers and six RBIs, culminating in a 41 wRC+. His presence in the lineup has become a liability, particularly as the playoffs approach, where every at-bat becomes increasingly critical.

Looking Ahead: Yankees’ Strategy Moving Forward

Manager Aaron Boone has expressed intentions to give LeMahieu ample opportunity to find his form post-injury, indicating no immediate changes in his usage. However, General Manager Brian Cashman is expected to be proactive at the trade deadline, particularly in seeking a World Series-caliber third baseman who can at least hit at an MLB-average level to bolster the team’s lineup.

As the deadline approaches, the Yankees’ management faces tough decisions to ensure the team remains a formidable contender in the postseason.

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