When Gleyber Torres was removed from Sunday afternoon’s game against the Mariners a few innings after an awkward head-first slide into second base, a bad feeling began to creep in among Yankees fans. This uneasiness was only intensified in the postgame, when manager Aaron Boone revealed that Torres was heading for an MRI on his thumb and that the team was concerned.
Given Boone’s normally-optimistic disposition, that was a big red flag. Sure enough, Torres won’t be with the Yankees tonight, as the Yankees placed him on the 10-day injured list prior to the start of their three-game series in Kansas City. Boone estimated that he’ll miss between 10-20 days. They also recalled reliever Nick Nelson to help fill in on the bullpen side with Luis Gil at least temporarily off the roster between starts.
To take his spot on the roster, they’ve recalled Andrew Velazquez, a 27-year-old infielder who has previously seen time in the big leagues with Cleveland, Tampa Bay, and Baltimore. Signed as a minor league free agent before 2021, he’s hit .283/.367/.471 with 26 stolen bases and a 124 wRC+ in 70 games for Triple-A Scranton. He’s a Bronx native, so that’s cool, but he’s hit just .156/.257/.219 with a 36 wRC+ in 68 career MLB games, so that’s less cool.
Velazquez may see time here and there, but since Gio Urshela’s own return is imminent, the most likely outcome is that Tyler Wade gets regular starts at shortstop. Considering the fact that he’s also not a good hitter (63 wRC+ in 2021; 59 for his career), that’s bad news. Torres has underwhelmed on both sides of the ball in 2021, but at least his bat has only been a bit under league-average rather than leagues below.
For those keeping score at home, the Yankees have now placed 15 players on the IL since the All-Star break, the most in the majors. Part of that figure is due to the COVID surges, but the facts are the facts. It’s brutal, and the Yankees will just have to keep hoping that they have enough healthy pieces to stay afloat in this tight pennant race.
“There is no contingency plan for your best players.”— Sweeny Murti (@YankeesWFAN) August 9, 2021
Judge, Cole, Chapman, Urshela, Montgomery, Loaisiga Sanchez, Rizzo, Torres.
Next Man Up is nice for a t-shirt. It’s hard in reality. https://t.co/tOAAdTwPcG
Gio Urshela (hamstring) had a setback running, so he's back in New York rehabbing, per manager Aaron Boone. Boone says he does not believe the setback to be "serious." Boone: "I don't anticipate him being with us this week."— Marly Rivera (@MarlyRiveraESPN) August 9, 2021
lol Gio had a setback too, so never mind, we’ll see more Velazquez! Yippie.