After a horrible August and some inconsistent play to start September, the New York Yankees appear to be playing a lot better in recent games. They have won their last five games, and eight of their last 10. If there is a perfect time to peak, it’s now.
The Tampa Bay Rays got as close as 2.5 games in recent weeks, but now, there are 8.5 games of difference between the Bombers and both the Rays and the Toronto Blue Jays in the AL East standings.
Having Judge in the lineup certainly helps, but the Yankees are also enjoying a timely renaissance from one of the players that struggled the most in the second half: infielder Gleyber Torres.
Torres, who is hitting .250/.306/.443 with 23 homers, 69 RBI and a .749 OPS in the season as a whole, had a forgettable August. That month, he slashed a paltry .180/.204/.260 with a .464 OPS and a 28 wRC+ (100 is considered league average production).
Gleyber has been one of the main driving factors on the Yankees’ recent turnaround
But fear no more, because Gleyber has turned things around and is, like the Yankees, peaking at the right time: just before the playoffs. The Venezuelam infielder has hit .301/.386/.562 with a .947 OPS in September, and that’s the player fans remember from 2018 and 2019.
Torres struggled mightily in both 2020 and 2021, but made adjustments and was very productive in the first half of the current campaign with an .809 OPS and 14 homers. His .669 OPS is obviously affected by his horrible August, but that was the outlier if we check his monthly wRC+ marks:
March/April: 94 wRC+
With a .323/.417/.629 line, five long balls, and 18 RBI in his last 15 games, the Yankees have to be satisfied with Torres’ turnaround.