BOSTON — Gleyber Torres is in the midst of a brutal stretch, which includes going 2-for-25 with three walks and 10 strikeouts since being removed from a game with back tightness on June 17 against the Blue Jays in Buffalo.
According to manager Aaron Boone, though, the slump is not because of an injury.
“I think it’s mechanical,’’ Boone said before Torres went 1-for-4 Saturday in the Yankees’ 4-2 loss to Red Sox at Fenway Park. “I think physically, he’s sound.”
That’s the good news.
But it doesn’t provide an answer for why, before Saturday, Torres was hitless in his previous 16 at-bats, or why he has been 2-for-34 with 12 strikeouts since June 15.
In previous seasons, Torres was among the Yankees’ most productive hitters, but since a three-hit game on June 10, he had just two hits and 16 strikeouts.
On Saturday, he crushed two balls, but both were chased down by Kike Hernandez in center.
“It was good to see Gleyber hit the ball well,’’ Boone said. “I hope he’s finding some traction.”
Boone said Deivi Garcia’s continued lack of success at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre is a product of what had been an issue since spring training.
“He’s really struggling with his command,’’ Boone said after Garcia had another rough Triple-A outing Friday night. “He’s struggling in his delivery and that’s affecting his command and getting him in the most trouble.”
He was expected to provide depth in the rotation this season, but has made just one start with the Yankees and his performance has only worsened as the year has progressed.
“It’s definitely been a struggle this last month for him,’’ Boone said of the 22-year-old right-hander. “It’s not ideal. Understanding, in the case of Deivi, we’re talking about a very young man that rocketed through the [minor league] system. Some of this is growing pains and finding deliveries and finding yourself and learning how to make adjustments.”
DJ LeMahieu continues to hit the ball better than he has all year. He had a season-high four hits on Saturday, extending his hitting streak to nine games. His eighth-inning homer was his third in eight games after hitting just three in his first 57 games.
“DJ’s been swinging well now for a few weeks,’’ Boone said. “It’s really good to see.”
Gio Urshela toppled into the Yankee dugout chasing a Rafael Devers foul ball in the second but stayed in the game. And Aaron Judge was OK after making a diving attempt of a J.D. Martinez double in the eighth.
Gerrit Cole already has thrown more innings this season (96 ²/₃) than he did all of last year, postseason included (91 ¹/₃), but said he doesn’t intend to alter his routine much.
“I don’t think we plan to change our approach much,” Cole said. “I feel really good. It’s nice to be pitching in the middle of summer. I missed it last year. It’s midseason now. Things are starting to settle in here for the long stretch.”
Sunday also will mark the first time he will pitch at a packed Fenway Park as a Yankee.
“I’m so glad to see everybody back at the ballpark,’’ Cole said. “It’s been a long time since we had a really electric atmosphere like [this]. I’m grateful we’re back in a place in society where we can celebrate the national pastime.”