Before the Yankees beat the Mets, 4-1, at Citi Field in Game 1 of this year’s Subway Series on Friady, manager Aaron Boone said he figures second baseman Gleyber Torres will hit No. 9 for the rest of the time they’re in Queens.
“I’d say there’s a good chance at that,” Boone said. “I just like the way it sets up with our lineup, with our guys at the top, especially with (Aaron) Judge at the two-hole. Especially a guy of Gleyber’s quality down there. The idea that in the middle of the game you’re probably hitting for the pitcher there anyway, I think our personnel suggests that we do it this way.”
The move lets the Yankees put a potent bat before they turn over their lineup with Brett Gardner at the top and potential MVP choice Aaron Judge hitting second. Accordingly, Yankees starting pitchers will hit eighth.
Torres has been one of the brightest spots for the Yankees in what’s been a remarkable season.
Ranked the sixth best prospect in the game according to Baseball America, Torres has hit .302 with 10 home runs and 28 RBI in 40 games.
But he had been in a rut of late.
Prior to going 2-for-3 Friday — including a clutch eighth-inning single that set up Brett Gardner’s go-ahead home run — the 21-year-old Venezuela native had just seven hits in his last 32 at-bats (.219) in his previous eight games entering Friday night. He had struck out nine times, or nearly in 30 percent of those at-bats.
Shohei Ohtani, the Angels’ ace and powerful designated hitter, hit the disabled list with a right UCL sprain. Ohtani has a Grade 2 strain. Angels general manager Billy Eppler didn’t rule out Tommy John surgery for Ohtani. The procedure would sideline him for 12 to 18 months.
If Ohtani doesn’t make it back, the Rookie of the Year crown could be Torres’ for the taking.