Rodon’s secret pitching coach? Gleyber Torres’ insights results in showcase outing

Is Gleyber Torres the secret whisperer for Carlos Rodon?
Esteban Quiñones
Wednesday May 15, 2024

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In an unlikely twist, Yankees infielder Gleyber Torres played a crucial role in left-hander Carlos Rodón’s stellar performance against the Twins, not with his bat alone but with a piece of pitching advice. Rodón, known primarily for his fastball and slider, ventured into new territory during Tuesday night’s game at the suggestion of his teammate, leading to a dominant outing.

Gleyber Torres: The pitching whisperer

It was during a casual conversation on Monday’s off day when Gleyber Torres, typically stationed at second base, suggested that Rodón shake things up. “You have to throw more changeups because people don’t expect the changeup,” Torres recalled advising Rodón. The pitcher took it to heart, integrating the pitch significantly more during his next start. Catcher Austin Wells, seemingly inspired by Torres’ insight, called for the changeup more often, leading to critical strikeouts that helped seal a 5-1 victory over the Twins.

Rodón, who allowed a leadoff homer to Ryan Jeffers but settled in to surrender just one run over six-plus innings, threw nine changeups out of 102 pitches. This marked a substantial increase from his season average of 4.4 changeups per game. Two of these pitches were particularly effective, resulting in strikeouts of Jeffers and Jose Miranda at crucial junctures of the game.

“I feel so happy because he doesn’t throw too many changeups,” said a delighted Gleyber Torres after the game. “He got two strikeouts with the changeup. I was like, ‘Believe me!’ That moment made me happy because as players we try to help one another and that’s a good way.” This unexpected coaching moment might have added a new layer to Rodón’s game, hinting at Torres’ hidden knack for game strategy.

Has Gleyber’s bat finally woken up?

While his off-the-cuff coaching drew attention, Gleyber Torres also made headlines with his performance at the plate. Emerging from a concerning 1-for-18 slump, he notched two singles in five at-bats against the Twins. This marked a significant upturn from his recent struggles, building on a momentum-changing three-run homer during Sunday’s win over Tampa Bay.

Despite his early season challenges, Torres remains optimistic about regaining his form. “It’s easy to say it’s a long season,” he remarked, reflecting a stoic approach to his batting woes. Yankees manager Aaron Boone praised Torres for his resilience and comprehensive skills, which were on full display Tuesday. “I’m really pleased with the game overall that Gleyber played,” Boone commented. “He made some real solid plays at second and a really good baserunning play to get to third base on one of the base-hits that set us up, too.”

Yankees' Gleyber Torres watches as his three-run home run against the Rays crosses the Tropicana Field wall on May 12, 2024.

As his career slowly progresses, Torres has no intentions of ever considering a shift to coaching, focusing instead on his contributions on the field and his family off it. “Ah, no!” he said with a smile when asked about the prospect of becoming a pitching coach. “I think when I’m retired I’ll try to enjoy my baby.” What do you think? Leave your comment below!

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