Gleyber Torres and Clint Frazier have been glaring holes in the Yankees’ lineup.
Torres is 4 for his last 51 (.078), while Frazier’s batting average has not touched the Mendoza line since April 12.
In Torres’ case, Boone has already given him a day off within the last week, which clearly didn’t work. But his struggles are a simple fix, says manager Aaron Boone.
“He’s got such a strong lower half, he’s very strong and athletic. I can see him kind of loading on that back side and staying behind ball really well, his posture and everything is strong as he’s going through the zone. I think the last couple weeks, he’s been a little bit off of that where he’s losing some of his posture at times, getting off balance a little bit at times, so right now it’s about going up there and making good swing decisions and getting balanced so he can get a strong swing off, and then when you get a pitch, sticking it,” Boone said.
Boone contrasted Torres’ potential fix to Gary Sanchez‘s recent resurgence, saying the catcher “overhauled some things,” and that’s not “the cure” for Torres.
“I think in Gary’s case, it was something he and we felt necessary for him to alter and change,” Boone said. “With Gleyber, I don’t necessarily think it’s about that. I think it’s about bringing his work into the game and being on time and on balance, and if he does that, Gleyber Torres is gonna come out.”
“Frankly, I was really encouraged over the weekend with his at-bats, and then obviously last night, he struggled a little bit at the plate” Boone added. “He was a little off balance again, so hopefully that was a one-night thing, because I felt like he was starting to build again a little bit at-bat wise over the weekend. We’ll continue to work alongside him. I think he knows – we’ve had conversations. He knows it’s in there, and he’s working hard to pull it out. And obviously he’s very important to this team.”
Say what you want about Boone’s (sometimes unwarranted) glass-half-full attitude, but he’s not wrong – before this stretch, Torres had been slashing .334/.389/.477 in his previous 24 games.
As for Frazier, Boone said the outfielder has done a good job on pitches out of the zone, but has a “lack of aggression” on pitches he needs to barrel up.
“With Clint, it’s been a lot of that up and down. We’ve seen some steps forward. One thing he does is, the walk is in there, and the non-chase is in there, but with that, sometimes, there’s been lack of aggression sometimes inside the strike zone, the lack of squaring some pitches up that we think he’s, in the past, has certainly driven with authority. There’s been a little bit less of that, but then there’s been some big at-bats that he’s had, even coming off the bench, or a game where it looks like he’s starting to turn the corner, and then it’s a step back.”
Boone said that Frazier’s one-step-forward, two-step-back season “kind of embodies what we’ve gone through as a club,” but the back of the baseball card says the talent is there.
“I think he has been frustrated at times. I think he’s worked tail off through it all, and like a lot of our guys, we do absolutely believe in his talent. It’s on me, it’s on us to, as best we can, try to unlock him.”
The Yankees will look to snap their four-game losing streak on Tuesday against the Angels.