As the Yankees continue to struggle to pull their way out of mediocrity, more and more fans are wondering when Gleyber Torres might be called up to the majors. As of Thursday, the service time issues for Brian Cashman and the Yanks have been avoided. Torres could be called up today and the Yankees would have their coveted extra year of service time.
So, as Torres continues to tear up Triple-A, what exactly is holding things up? A recent report stated that Yankees fans shouldn’t expect to see Torres in the Bronx in the immediate future. It sounds like the Yankees want to avoid any complaints regarding service time manipulation (similar to the minor backlash the Cubs received with Kris Bryant). If that is true, we may not see Torres in Yankee pinstripes until next week, or longer. Torres’ recent back tightness may also cause more of a delay.
Despite the holdup, we should see Torres in the somewhat near future. So let’s prepare for that inevitable day when he gets the call and prepares for his Yankees debut. What can we expect from Torres once he joins the team?
The obvious hope for the Yankees would be a jolt at the bottom of the lineup once Torres arrives. Let’s face it, the 7-9 hitters have not been good for the Bombers so far this season. The bottom of the order has consisted mainly of Miguel Andujar, Tyler Wade, Neil Walker and Tyler Austin. The offensive production from this group has been poor to say the least, with exception of maybe Austin, who has an .854 OPS. However, the remaining trio has struggled badly at the plate. Andujar clubbed his first major league home run on Tuesday night, but still has a weak OBP of .256. Walker and Wade have been even worse, as both have an OPS under .450. That’s not ideal.
Nobody should expect Torres to burst onto the scene like Gary Sanchez and put a struggling team on his back. Torres obviously doesn’t have the power of Sanchez. Still, the Yankees would be hoping for any kind of upgrade over the young infielders currently on the roster. Given Torres’ current .923 OPS in Triple-A, he has the potential to be an immediate upgrade.
Torres could also bring along some more versatility in the infield. He has primarily played third base with the RailRiders, which makes sense given Brandon Drury’s condition and Andujar’s slow start. Torres played a lot of second base last year, and is also a natural shortstop. The Yankees have had glaring struggles defensively so far this season, committing 17 errors already (good for second most in baseball). If Torres could provide more versatile and reliable defense, that would be an immediate help.
Again, expectations should be tamed. Torres is incredibly young and will be seeing his first major league action whenever he is called up. He may not arrive and immediately start tearing the cover off the ball, but decent offensive production and a solid glove would be an upgrade over many of the Yankees’ current infield options.