Wednesday, July 13, 2022

One of these things is not like the other...


It is churlish of me, I know, to call out poor Gleyber Torres in what is, after all, (something of a) comeback year for him, after his awful 2020 and 2021 seasons. 

The loss last night could hardly be laid at his feet alone. The Gleyber had three hits on the night, and it wasn't he who spit the bit in the ninth inning, but our fading bullpen and increasingly mysterious manager.

Yet the fact remains that it was not Aaron Judge but Gleyber Torres who was supposed to be the rock upon which this, The Dynasty That Never Was, was to be founded. 

It was The Gleyber, the man who Theo Epstein was (supposedly) loath to part with, who was the key acquisition, the greatest coup of all in Cooperstown Cashman's most GM wheeling and dealing back in 2016—the man for whom we sent out Aroldis Chapman in a boomerang trade, only to return to us as well, and...

Well, we all know what boomerangs do.  

Never mind Chappie, though.  GLEYBER was supposed to be Cashman's Derek Jeter—even better, a Derek Jeter with power—who would jockey the team into contention for years to come.

Forget all the hype on the upcoming, ESPN, Jeter-A-Rod series (as if we all have not heard enough about THAT.).

The real debate over the ages to come was going to be over who was better?—Jeter or the superior brand Jeter who Cashman The Brain brought to New York.

But as it turns out, if Derek Jeter was "Captain Intangibles," Gleyber Torres is Corporal Oblivious.

The whole Captain Intangibles thing was, of course, wildly overstated. Landing 6th on the all-time hits list and 11th in runs scored always struck me as PFT (Pretty Fucking Tangible). 

It was true, though that Jeets could always be counted on to do the little things, the smart things—the things, even from the start of his career, that demonstrated his constant eye for the main chance, his preternatural grasp of the game.

Not so much Gleyber, as demonstrated yet again in a couple of key moments last night.  

First, in the 7th, Torres managed to commit a cardinal baseball sin in making the first out of the inning at third base.

Running around the bases like a man in a three-legged race at the company picnic, Gleyber managed to get thrown out at third by a Reds team that was handling his long drive with neither competence nor alacrity. 

HAL could have beat that relay to third, even running in his kinky boots.

Then, in the 9th, Torres managed to just get nipped at first on the slowest double-play ever turned—save for maybe the one where he managed to get thrown out by Boston to end the 2018 season.

Hey, anyone can have a, shall we say, distracted night at the ballpark.  

But such shenanigans have proved a regular occurrence for the supposed jewel in the crown of the next Yankees dynasty. Who can forget the time Gleyber injured himself by sliding with the hand forward that did NOT have the sliding pad on it?

Injuries have been a commonplace for Torres. Just 25 and in his fifth year in the show, he has already missed an average of 25 games missed a season. Had he not hurt himself in the minors in 2017, we might have pulled out a championship that season, cheaters or no cheaters.

Above all, though, what Torres was supposed to do was to anchor the infield at SHORTSTOP—a position he proved unable to play, and where he let his inadequacies drag down his hitting as well.

You would think that ascertaining if your can't-miss, superstar shortstop of the future can even play the position might have been a priority for Brian Cashman...but no could do. Instead, thanks to this misapprehension—and HAL's tightwaditude—we are left with TDF, The Dubious Falafel, at short, while Gleyber returns to playing a perfectly average second base.

Hey, not saying he doesn't have his moments. Trying to summon the lightning, the YES booth kept pointing out that he had the most walk-off hits in the majors since 2018 (7). Gleyber has also had some very fine playoff series.

But overall, he still has yet to regain the form he attained four years ago. Is this the guy to build a dynasty around? The next Derek Jeter?

No, he is not. Which Derek must be smirking about—just a little!—these days.




The Hammer of God said...

Amen, Hoss. You forgot to mention the time Torres sprained his ankle while dancing off third base. Happened just a little while back. Who the hell sprains his ankle dancing off third? Who does that? And he got tagged out too, couldn't even make it back to the bag. WTF?

And the time that he tore a ligament in his elbow in the minor leagues on a play at the plate. Looking back, that was a warning sign that this guy finds all kinds of stupid ways to get hurt.

I forgot what game it was or even what year it happened, but I saw Torres take the all time worst swing that I have ever seen by a major league player. He had one foot up in the air and it hadn't come down yet, and he took a feeble swing that looked like he was trying to backhand a tennis ball while charging the net. That swing should've garnered him the Razzi Award.

If Jeter was an underrated player during his entire career, this Torres is the most overrated I have ever seen. In a word, Torres "sucks".

HoraceClarke66 said...

Oh, right! Good catch, Hammer. He acted as if he were so badly injured he could not even crawl back to the bag. And it turned out to be a sprain.

Yeah, the minor-league injury was what kept him from being brought up in 2017, and who knows what might have happened for us then.

I mean, he seems like a nice kid and all. But his head really isn't in the game. Here is where, say, a really good manager might take him in hand, make sure he's on his toes.

Too bad we don't have that.

Mel said...

I dunno. Maybe too harsh. (Not on Cashman and his judgement.) Torres has been doing some successful base-taking chances that lead to scoring. But that's a new part of his game. The styling when he should be running -- Boone should be on him for that, but there's no BLBP (Bases Lost Because Posing) analytics stat yet. And that self-admiration schtick is a game-wide virus. I feel good when he's batting, mostly good when fielding. Rather have him than not..

Kevin said...

Sleepy Sanchez leaves and the team became "noticeably" alert. Torres' vibe is very similar, he remains a ruby in the rough. Somebody needs to really get on him about his lack of situational awareness.

The Hammer of God said...

I think there's more to it than just situational awareness. There are lots of issues with him. He has some talent, for sure. But he's almost like Gary Sanchez's little brother gone berserk. Definitely a little out of control. He's susceptible to looooooong slumps and timing issues. He looks to my eye like he's pumped up a bit too much with the weights, a bit too heavy. I don't think he's a true power hitter. He'd be better served dropping some weight, emulating Jeter and being a line drive hitter. But he doesn't run anywhere near as well as Jeter.

We'd be better served trading Torres over the winter, no matter what happens this year. But Brain & Co. doesn't make trades, especially not with anyone they consider their core players. If Torres finishes up with a decent year, you can bet he'll have a down year in 2023.