Yankees’ second baseman suffering through horrible start

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

In the bottom of the 10th inning on Sunday afternoon, the Yankees had the infield in trying to stifle the Cleveland Guardians’ run-scoring opportunities. Unfortunately, outfielder Will Brennen hit a slow grounder to second base, but Gleyber Torres couldn’t field the ball cleanly, and the runner ended up safe at home.

Aside from Anthony Volpe, the Yankees’ infield defense has been horrible, and that is putting it lightly. Torres has been a negative variable in that equation, and that certainly isn’t how he wanted to start a 2024 season — he’s in a contract year and the final year of arbitration.

The Yankees Need More From Gleyber Torres

The 27-year-old has already spent 133.1 innings at second base this year, hosting -1 defensive run saved and a .966 fielding percentage, the lowest mark at the position in his career. The hope is that Torres turned things around defensively and put together a balanced campaign, but he’s been more of a liability than a solution, having already been moved off the lead-off spot and now hitting sixth in the batting order

Offensively, Torres is hitting .200/.300/.233, collecting seven runs and two RBIs with a 20% strikeout rate and 67 wRC+. After hitting .273/.347/.453 in 2023, it is safe to say he’s not living up to the expectations this year, but the season is still young.

The Yankees aren’t overly concerned about his start since he can heat up at any time and start to produce at his normal levels, but he’s mostly been a liability on both sides of the ball. With runners in scoring position, Torres is hitting .154/.250/.154, collecting only two hits over 17 plate appearances. The team simply needs more from him with runners on base and in most categories.

Given their investment in Torres at $14.2 million this season, the Yankees are already likely to move on in free agency, looking for a competent player at a reduced price tag. The team’s prospect pool doesn’t have any high-profile middle infielders climbing the ranks at the moment, despite Oswald Peraza trying to become that lone piece after the graduation of Volpe.

They do have Jorbit Vivas, recovering from an orbital fracture he suffered this spring. The 23-year-old showed signs of potential during spring training with the Yankees, but he still has a long way to go, and the Bombers may look to trade for an infield asset with controllable years after the 2024 season.

For now, they simply need Torres to step up and showcase the version he displayed last season. This would reinforce the bottom half of the order and provide the Yankees with a reliable bat, not to mention a competent glove.

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