Gleyber Torres hits three-run homer vs. Rays, reignites his fading Yankees fortune

Yankees' Gleyber Torres reacts after hitting a three-run home run against the Rays at Tropicana Field wall on May 12, 2024.

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In a crucial moment during Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays, Gleyber Torres ignited his bat in the eighth inning, launching a pivotal three-run homer that propelled the Yankees to a 10-6 victory.

The 27-year-old second baseman has been mired in one of the worst slumps of his career this season, with a disappointing slash line of .208/.289/.562. However, his timely blast off the Rays’ reliever Shawn Armstrong provided a much-needed boost for both Gleyber Torres and his team.

Before the game, Gleyber Torres sought guidance from assistant hitting coach Pat Roessler, spending extra time in the batting cage to fine-tune his swing. The hard work paid off when he stepped up to the plate in the eighth inning, with the Yankees clinging to a precarious one-run lead. Gleyber Torres’ towering shot to left field extended the advantage to 9-5, giving the team some breathing room after a tumultuous seventh inning.

Gleyber Torres’ three-run homer turned out to be a significant contribution and manager Aaron Boone described the home run as a “big blow” that allowed the Yankees to exhale and solidify their lead. The Yanklees’ second baseman acknowledged the importance of his late-game heroics, emphasizing the satisfaction of delivering a meaningful hit for his team in a high-pressure situation.

His eighth-inning blast was a welcome sight for the Yankees, who have been eagerly awaiting his offensive resurgence. With his second home run of the season now under his belt, the team hopes that this pivotal moment will catalyze Gleyber Torres to rediscover his rhythm at the plate and contribute consistently to the Yankees’ success in the coming games.

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The big three-run homer

Gleyber Torres, who was benched on Saturday and went hitless in his first three at-bats on Mother’s Day, emerged as the Yankees’ savior after relievers Caleb Ferguson and Nick Burdi nearly squandered a 6-0 lead. With one out in the eighth inning, following a single by Giancarlo Stanton and a double by Anthony Rizzo, Gleyber Torres found himself in a 0-2 count against Shawn Armstrong. Undeterred, he connected with a 2-2 pitch, sending it soaring to left field.

As the ball took flight, Gleyber Torres watched intently, flipping his bat away before trotting around the bases. An enthusiastic Rizzo greeted him as the pro-Yankees crowd of 20,694 erupted in chants and cheers. The second baseman, who is batting .208 with a .562 OPS in his free agent walk year, revealed that his focus was simply on putting the ball in play and driving in a run.

In his game-changing homer, Gleyber Torres utilized a toe tap rather than his usual leg kick, a change that may become more prevalent in his approach. The minimal leg movement helped keep his head still, enhancing his visual acuity at the plate, a sentiment echoed by hitting coach James Rowson.

Yankees hitting coach earlier identified potential issues in Gleyber Torres’ swing mechanics that could be contributing to his recent struggles at the plate. Rowson and manager Aaron Boone expressed concern about his head movement during his swing, which might be affecting his ability to see the ball. Additionally, Rowson noted that the player might not be consistently landing with his front foot in the same spot, leading to inconsistencies in his swing.

Rowson elaborated on his observations, stating that they had noticed varying degrees of drift in Gleyber Torres’ at-bats, and the lack of consistency in his landing was evident. He pointed out how the second baseman occasionally switched from his usual leg lift to a toe tap loading action, indicating that they were still working on finding the optimal timing to improve his landing and minimize head movement.

“We’ve seen some at-bats where there’s more drift than others and not finding consistency with his landing,” he said a few days ago. “For me, sometimes with him, you see it and you watch it, he goes from the leg lift to just more of the toe tap loading action, still trying to find that timing which will affect how he lands and how his head moves.

Despite his recent challenges both at the plate and occasionally in the field, Gleyber Torres praised his teammates for their unwavering support during this difficult stretch. In a post-game interview, he expressed gratitude for the opportunity to contribute to the team’s success with his timely home run, emphasizing the joy and excitement it brought to his teammates.

“It’s not just the coaches it’s everybody for that reason I always say this is home and it’s more than teammates, it’s family. I mean the relationship I have here is amazing, especially in this moment everybody is with me right now.”

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USA Today

Gleyber Torres acknowledged the significance of the supportive environment within the Yankees organization, crediting not only the coaches but every member of the team. He likened the team to a family, highlighting the incredible relationships he had forged with his teammates. The Yankees star expressed his appreciation for the support he received during this challenging period, underlining the importance of the team’s unity and camaraderie.

Trade or new Yankees deal for Gleyber Torres?

Gleyber Torres, the two-time All-Star second baseman for the New York Yankees, has been experiencing a significant slump in his performance this season, playing well below his usual standards. With a career slash line of .264/.332/.445 over 776 games, it is expected that Gleyber Torres will eventually revert to his long-term averages as the season progresses, making it unlikely that he will continue to struggle at this level for the entire year.

Gleyber Torres’ breakout season came in 2019 when he showcased his power and prowess at the plate, belting 38 home runs, driving in 90 runs, and maintaining a solid .278 batting average. The past two seasons have also been relatively productive for the 27-year-old, as he combined for 49 home runs and an impressive 144 RBIs for the Yankees.

Gleyber Torres’ subpar performance has led the Yankees to relegate him to the seventh spot in their batting order. His offensive numbers paint a grim picture – a nearly 9% spike in strikeout rate from the previous year, coupled with a wRC+ of 64, indicating he’s performing a staggering 36% below the league average offensive output. Torres’ defensive metrics have been equally underwhelming, with negative defensive runs saved, a mere one out above average, and a mediocre .966 fielding percentage over 347.1 innings played.

Yankees' second baseman Gleyber Torres is at George M. Steinbrenner Field, Tampa, on March 24, 2024.
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With Torres struggling mightily at the plate and in the field, his expected batting and slugging averages rank among the worst in the league. His ineptitude in scoring positions, hitting a paltry .152, has only compounded the Yankees’ concerns. General Manager Brian Cashman has previously entertained the idea of trading Torres, and given his current form, the Yankees might actively engage in trade negotiations. Torres could potentially be moved for prospects, who could then be used as trade chips to acquire reinforcements and revamp their roster.

As a player in his contract year, Gleyber Torres’ current slump could potentially impact his future earnings, as he may have been looking at this season as an opportunity to secure a substantial, long-term contract. The Venezuelan international will have earned $35.5 million in major-league salaries by the end of the season. However, as a relatively young player entering free agency for the first time next winter, Gleyber Torres could have positioned himself for a lucrative multiyear deal had he performed at his usual level.

Despite his current struggles, Gleyber Torres still has time to turn his season around and improve his market value. If he fails to do so, the Yankees may need to consider adjusting his playing time, especially with the potential return of DJ LeMahieu from the injured list in the coming weeks. In such a scenario, the team could explore giving at-bats to Jon Berti and Oswaldo Cabrera at second base. Additionally, Oswald Peraza, a highly-touted 23-year-old infield prospect, could also be an option once he returns from the injured list.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

2 thoughts on “Gleyber Torres hits three-run homer vs. Rays, reignites his fading Yankees fortune

  1. Anyone who buys into the idea that Torres is “back,” based on one HR, is delusional & should seek professional help.

    In their “walk year,” CLUTCH players play Well Beyond “the back of their baseball card,” which is why so many teams get burned signing a player who’s coming off a great “walk year.”

    But what has Torres done in his “walk year”? He’s CHOCKED at the bat, in the field, and on the bases. That should tell you everything you need to know about how Torres will likely respond to World Series pressure. He’s NOT a clutch player who rises to the occasion, instead, he typically folds under pressure.

    Many people seemed excited by his HR against the Rays on Sunday, but it was an awful pitch that was up in the strike zone, where Torres typically loves to swing, anyhow. That pitch was virtually sitting on a batting tee waiting to be smacked into orbit.

    But let’s look at this realistically. That was his SECOND Home Run in 42 GAMES as a starter! And he increased his 42 Game RBI total by More Than 142% on that one hit! To stress the point, that’s MORE THAN ONE HUNDRED & FORTY-TWO PERCENT! And people are getting excited about that! Really? How gullible are you folks?

    Torres now has a “whopping” 2 Home Runs & 10 RBI in 42 Games. That averages out to LESS THAN 8 HRS & 39 RBI in 162 GAMES, and he’s being paid $14.2 Million for that vomit-worthy production! And that doesn’t even factor in that he’s been erratic in the field (as usual) & often Hideous on the bases.

    Torres’ WAR is MINUS 2, and his OPPS+ is a hideous 62. His batting average is an Atrocious .208, but that’s not even the worse news:

    Torres is hitting a PATHETIC .176 with runners in scoring position, and that’s AFTER he hit his 3-run HR. So, the .176 is a Vast Improvement over his previous 41 Games!

    Are you ready to wretch yet? Then stock up on Tums & Rolaids because it’s about to get FAR WORSE!

    It’s not like Torres hasn’t hit this crappy before, either. He completely disappeared at the plate for about 2 months last year when he heard rumors he might be traded. Is that the way a Clutch Player would respond if he wanted to stay put? No, that’s the way a chocking dog would respond.

    Moreover, as recently as 2021 Torres had a very similar cow-dung season, hitting just 9 HRs & 51 RBI. So, that earlier 8 HRs & 39 RBI projection is not a remote possibility. He’s Proven that he’s quite capable of hitting that poorly.

    And the news is EVEN WORSE for any Potential Playoff Performance because:

    * Torres is hitting a manageable .254 with BOTH of his HRs & half of his RBIs during DAY Games, but

    * Torres is hitting .176 with Zero HRs & 5 RBIs AT NIGHT, When Most Playoff Games are Played!

    If his 3-run HR raised any interest in 2B-desperate teams, trade him Immediately for whatever you can get, and call up Caleb Durbin from AAA, who’s playing exceptionally well, and see if he can handle full-time duty at 2B. If he can’t, they can go with a combination of Berti & Cabrera at 2B & 3B, with the remote possibility of later adding JDL into the mix, if he’s ever healthy this season.

    But stop dreaming on Torres’ suddenly having an epiphany & finally transforming himself into a Consistent MLB-Level Player. He’s been that for exactly one full season, way back in 2019, during a juiced-ball season.

    After 6+ seasons, there’s virtually no reason to believe Torres will ever be anything other than what he’s been so far: a player with great physical skills, who’s Stupid, Lazy & Careless At Bat, In The Field, and On The Bases, which is 100% of a Position Player’s Job Description. If you sucked at 100% of your job for 5+ years (giving him credit for that 1 good year), how long would you keep your job? 10 minutes?

    It’s Way Past Time that the “G” in Torres’s first name stood for “Goodbye Torres, please let the door slam you in your dumb *ss on your way out the door!”

  2. I noted above that Torres Increased his RBI total for the Year by More Than 142% on his 3-run HR in the 8th inning on Sunday.

    Here’s something to put that 142+% improvement in perspective.

    For Juan Soto to Increase his RBI total by Nearly 142% in One Inning, SOTO WOULD HAVE TO HIT THREE GRAND SLAMS & A TWO-RUN HR IN ONE INNING.

    That’s how Great Soto has been & how Hideous Torres has been.

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