Gleyber Torres, second baseman for the New York Yankees, hit a home run in his debut with Leones de Caracas in the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League (LVBP) on November 30, as rumors continue that he could be traded out of the Bronx.
Earlier in the month, the Yankees had tried to block Torres from playing in Venezuela, but a few days later, Torres was on his way in a small plane to Caracas.
Gleyber Torres and Eugenio Suárez traveling together to play in Venezuela pic.twitter.com/GQ1IROeA42
—Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) November 25, 2022
After a season in which he got back into his offensive rhythm again, Torres gets a chance to watch live pitches during the offseason. He’ll not only have more swings in the batter’s box, but he’ll also get more reps at second base, a position he’s fared better at than shortstop in the majors.
Torres made his LVBP debut on November 30 against Cardenales de Lara. Him playing second base and hitting third in the lineup, he went 4-1 with a home run off minor league veteran Geoff Broussard. Torres hit a curveball on a 1-1 count and hit it to deep left field, showing his power to the left side. However, it was not enough to defeat the visiting team.
First hit, first home run for him in the #LVBP 2022-2023 ðŸ‡»ðŸ‡ª
“It’s a dream that came true” pic.twitter.com/vACRezUdCr
– Victor Briceño (@Victorbrr31) December 1, 2022
Since Torres made his major league debut with the Yankees in 2018, it’s been something of a roller coaster. His season stats in the early years impressed many. In 2019, Torres hit 38 home runs, drove in 90 runs and had an .871 OPS. In the 60-game, Covid-shortened 2020 season, he hit three home runs, and his OPS dropped to .724, which is close to Major League average.
At home ðŸ¦
Gleyber Torres ðŸ”¥ðŸ”¥ðŸ”¥ðŸ”¥ pic.twitter.com/3q3lCaTo8u
– Lions of Caracas (@leones_cbbc) November 29, 2022
to keep growing
In Venezuela, Torres has a chance to show his work ethic to the Yankees while playing for Leones del Caracas. Whether that will help or hurt his chances of keeping New York is up in the air.
As the 2022 deadline approached, there were rumors that Torres would be traded to the Miami Marlins for starting pitcher Pablo López, but Yankees general manager Brian Cashman withdrew the offer, according to New York Post columnist Jon Heyman. Torres finished the year with New York, and in November, New York Post columnist Joel Sherman reported that the Seattle Mariners had interest in the midfielder.
But once again, the offseason has raised questions about the second baseman’s future with the team, despite Torres being owned by the Yankees through the end of the 2024 season. If Torres continues to impress with the bat in Venezuela this winter, perhaps other MLB GMs will take note.
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