Gleyber Torres won’t be making his debut for the New York Yankees this season. The franchise’s prized shortstop prospect will miss the rest of the year as he’s been diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left (non-throwing) elbow and will need Tommy John surgery.
Torres was acquired by the Yankees last summer as part of the trade that sent Aroldis Chapman to the Chicago Cubs. He immediately became the franchise’s top prospect and its potential long-term successor to Derek Jeter at shortstop. The 20-year-old is widely considered a top five prospect in all of baseball and seemed likely to crack the big league roster at some point this season.
Between time spent at Double-A and Triple-A this season, Torres had combined to hit .287 with seven home runs, 34 RBI and 30 walks against 47 strikeouts. In 55 games he also carried an on-base percentage of .383 and an OPS of .863.
With Didi Gregorius hitting a career-best .330, it’s likely Torres would have eventually come up to play third base in place of the struggling Chase Headley. But either way, there was certainly a path for him to reach the big leagues this season. Now that’s out the window.
Torres and the Yankees are incredibly lucky that he injured his non-throwing elbow. That will speed up his recovering timetable considerably. It’s like that Torres will be able to return to start the 2018 season if everything goes smoothly.