Yankees’ starting second baseman battling back injury

MLB: Kansas City Royals at New York Yankees, gleyber torres

The New York Yankees kicked off a three-game series against the Houston Astros this past Friday night. Although they clinched the first game with a 6–2 victory, the spotlight was on who wasn’t on the field rather than who was. Gleyber Torres, the Yankees’ starting second baseman, was notably absent from both Friday’s and Saturday’s lineups due to a reported lower back injury, specifically tightness.

Gleyber Torres’ Has Helped the Yankees’ Offense: A Closer Look

Torres, 26, has been a linchpin for the Yankees this year. He’s been batting an impressive .270 with a .339 OBP and a .459 slugging rate. Add to that his 23 home runs, 57 RBIs, 13 stolen bases, a low 14.2% strikeout rate, a 9.2% walk rate, and a 121 wRC+, and it’s clear that this is one of Torres’ finest seasons in the big leagues.

Torres is building upon a solid performance in 2022, where he smacked 24 homers. Notably, he has increased his on-base percentage by 4% while lowering his strikeout rate by nearly 8%, demonstrating marked growth in multiple facets of his game.

Defensive Struggles: A Dip in Form

However, it’s not all rosy for Torres, particularly when it comes to his defensive prowess. Over 1030.2 innings played this year, he’s logged a .975 fielding percentage, along with 12 errors, -2 defensive runs saved, and -1 outs above average. When you consider that he had a .985 fielding percentage with nine defensive runs saved last year, it’s evident that his defensive performance has dipped.

Next Man Up: Oswald Peraza Fills In

With Torres sidelined, Oswald Peraza took over second-base duties. Peraza made the most of the situation, picking up two hits, which included a single and a double. Given the Yankees’ tendency to bring up a significant number of prospects, the absence of a key player like Torres provides invaluable experience for the younger talents. The hope is for these emerging players to continue building upon their successes, positioning themselves as potential starters for the 2024 season.

Looking Ahead: The Return of Gleyber?

As the Yankees approach the final game of the series against Houston on Sunday, the anticipation is high for Torres’ return to the lineup. Despite the playoffs being out of reach, Gleyber’s momentum could play a big role in the front office extending him on a long-term contract.

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