Gleyber Torres’ value to Yankees shown in one disturbing number
BALTIMORE — Aaron Boone cautioned about making too much of a small sample size, but Wednesday marked just the 28th game this season the Yankees played without Gleyber Torres available, and they entered just 14-13 in those situations.
Torres is on the disabled list with a strained right hip flexor and could be back just after the All-Star break. Nevertheless, the Yankees had already dropped 2 ½ games in the AL East standings since he went on the DL.
The production the Yankees have gotten out of Torres’ replacements at second base hasn’t been terrible.
Neil Walker, Brandon Drury and Tyler Wade — who started Wednesday against Orioles right-hander Dylan Bundy — were a combined 6-for-22 with three RBIs, a pair of walks and two strikeouts in six games, but already playing without the injured Gary Sanchez, the lineup has dragged without Torres.
So has the defense, which Boone pointed to as one of Torres’ most vital aspects.
“He’s been a great defender for us,’’ Boone said. “I know there have been errors people point to, but he’s been amazing for the most part.”
Regardless of how well Walker, Wade or Drury hit, none can approach Torres’ ability at the plate.
“There’s no question he’s been an impact player in so many ways,” Boone said. “Just the balance he’s brought to our lineup, with the ability to hit right-handed and left-handed pitching. He’s had a lot of big hits in huge spots which have directly resulted in wins.”
That hasn’t been the case with Wade, who made his second start since being called up on July 7.
He entered the game just 4-for-39 on the season with two doubles, though he has dazzled defensively.
Boone said the versatile Wade could spell Didi Gregorius at shortstop in Cleveland before the All-Star break, but he also admitted Wade has struggled at the plate.
“He’s made a couple big defensive plays,’’ Boone said. “We’ve seen his speed. We hope he can help with his bat. That’s the one thing we haven’t seen up here, but we still feel he’s capable of bringing it.”
The Yankees point to Wade’s limited role earlier in the year and the fact he battled an illness when he was on the roster in April as reasons why he didn’t play up to his potential when given an opportunity.
“I think he’s doing some of the things he was doing earlier in the season and in the spring that we liked,’’ Boone said of Wade, who played well each of the past two spring trainings, but has so far failed to see it translate to the majors.
If Torres is able to return after the break, Wade likely isn’t dealing with much time before he’s sent back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
He was kept in the majors over Drury in part because of his ability to play the outfield and his legs, which helped win the Yankees a game in Toronto, in which he scored the winning run pinch-running for Greg Bird.
“I don’t worry about how long I’m going to be here,’’ Wade said. “I just think about how I can help us win every day, whether that’s off the bench or in the lineup.”
Cleveland Indians, New York Yankees series preview, pitching matchups
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Here is the preview and pitching matchups for the Indians' series against the Yankees.
Where/when: Progressive Field, Thursday through Sunday.
TV/radio: SportsTime Ohio will televise Thursday, Friday and Sunday's games. MLB Network will carry Thursday and Friday's games, while FOX will do Saturday's game and TBS will do Sunday's game. WTAM/1100 and WMMS/FM 100.7 will broadcast the series.
Pitching matchups and starting times: RHP Luis Severino (14-2, 2.12) vs. RHP Corey Kluber (12-4, 2.49) Thursday at 7:10 p.m.; RHP Domingo German (2-4, 5.06) vs. RHP Shane Bieber (4-1, 3.47) Friday at 7:10 p.m.; LHP CC Sabathia (6-4, 3.34) vs. RHP Mike Clevinger (7-4, 3.34) Saturday at 7:15 p.m. and RHP Masahiro Tanaka (7-2, 4.68) vs. RHP Trevor Bauer (8-6, 2.30) Sunday at 1:10 p.m.
Series: The Yankees lead the Indians, 3-0, this season. Yankees lead the Indians overall, 1,101-867.
Hot pitchers: Bauer, one of the Tribe's five All-Stars, is 4-3 in his last eight starts, but has a 1.90 ERA with 82 strikeouts in 57 innings. Severino leads the big leagues with 14 wins and has won his last five starts for New York.
Hot hitters: All-Star Jose Ramirez, hitting .364 (4-for-11) against the Yankees this season, and Albert Belle are the only Indians to hit as many as 27 homers before the All-Star break. Aaron Hicks has six homers and 10 RBI in his last 13 games for the Yankees.
Team updates: The Indians were swept in a three-game series by the Yankees in May at Yankee Stadium as the bullpen gave it up twice in the late innings. The Indians ended a four-game losing streak and avoided a three-game sweep by the Reds on Wednesday night with a 19-4 win. The Yankees, with a win over Baltimore on Wednesday night, have won seven of their last 11 games.
Disabled list: Yankees - OF Jacoby Ellsbury (right oblique, left hip, back), RHP Ben Heller (right elbow), LHP Jordan Montgomery (left elbow), C Gary Sanchez (right groin) and 2B Gleyber Torres (right hip) are on the disabled list.
Indians - RHP Josh Tomlin (right hamstring), OF Lonnie Chisenhall (left calf), RHP Evan Marshall (right elbow), LHP Andrew Miller (right knee), RHP Nick Goody (right elbow), LHP Ryan Merritt (left shoulder), RHP Danny Salazar (right shoulder) and RHP Cody Anderson (right elbow) are on the disabled list.
New York Yankees have made ‘strong offer’ for Manny Machado
The New York Yankees have made a “strong offer” for Baltimore Orioles shortstop Manny Machado. Jon Heyman of Fancred reported the latest update on the four-time All-Star.
There’s no word yet on what the Yankees’ offer entails, but Roch Kubatko of MASN has reported New York pitching prospect Justus Sheffield as not being part of the proposal.
Needless to say, the Manny Machado sweepstakes just got a lot more interesting. Baltimore could not only trade Machado to an AL East rival but possibly at a major discount. This is quite the change from MLB.com’s Jon Morosi stating earlier today that Baltimore would only trade Machado to the Yankees if Sheffield were involved.
The next chapter is anyone’s guess, especially with Sheffield off the table. New York has plenty of young talent to offer Baltimore, so it’s really just a matter of how GM Brian Cashman opts to proceed. He knows Machado could just wind up being a rental for the Yankees, and there’s no way he’ll let himself get fleeced. Keep in mind, this is the same man who acquired reigning NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton for practically nothing. With Baltimore in little position to make demands, these negotiations could wind up similar.
And just who do the Yankees give up? Righty Dillon Tate is 5-2 with a 3.38 ERA at Double-A Trenton this year, and Erik Swanson is 6-1 with a 2.38 ERA across three levels in 2018. New York also has outfielder Clint Frazier and infielder Brandon Drury to offer.
One thing is certain. If Machado becomes a Yankee, Cashman is far from done. The next step would likely be either stashing third baseman Miguel Andujar and his 40 extra base hits in the minors, or maybe trade him for a top arm like New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom.