Some awful news for the Yankees: top prospect Gleyber Torres has a torn UCL in his left elbow. He’ll have surgery. He’s done for the year.
Torres suffered a hyperextended left elbow while sliding headfirst into home plate during Saturday’s game for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. X-rays were negative and he was placed on the disabled list, but no one suspected that the injury was this serious, let alone that it would cost him the season.
Torres, of course, is not a pitcher. He’s an infielder. One of the top infield prospects in all of baseball and a top-10 overall prospect in the game according to most who rank such things. Though only 20 years old, he was hitting .309/.406/.457 at Triple-A and many suspected that he’d be playing for the Yankees soon given that they are in contention and given that third baseman Chase Headley has struggled. Those plans are obviously scrapped.
Torres, thankfully, throws with his right hand, so the rehab process will not be as extensive for him as it would be for a pitcher. At the moment the Yankees expect him to be ready for spring training in 2018. Still, this is quite a blow.
Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.
Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.
Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.