It was a great season for Yankees’ rookies, but once the bright lights of October came on, they could not get the job done in their first taste of postseason baseball.
The Yankees placed a great deal of responsibility on the shoulders of the young Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar this season. While it worked in the regular season, the postseason just seemed to be too much to handle for the two Yankee rookies.
It all dates back to the wild-card game. Gleyber Torres came up for his first postseason plate appearance in his career batting in his familiar number nine spot. Torres looked like the kid that he is, overmatched in a five-pitch strikeout, a sequence that saw him swing and misses three times at breaking balls in the dirt.
For Andujar, he did not have the same leash as Torres did since he struggles so much defensively. Andujar only saw two plate appearances in the one game winner take all playoff game prior to being subbed out for Adeiny Hechavarría.
This became a trend for the Bombers as the postseason continued. It was Torres and Andujar that helped round out the Yankees’ lineup into the offensive juggernaut that it was during the regular season. But, this was the playoffs and it was made obvious right away that the rookie success the Bombers saw in the postseason a year ago was not going to translate in 2018.
Andujar and Torres continued their postseason funks during the ALDS, one of the reasons the Yanks were unable to advance over Boston.
Torres continued to look overmatched during throughout the Divison series. Think back to the sequence Boston pitchers used against him in Game 1 when the 21-year-old came up with the bases loaded. He showed no plate discipline in an at-bat that would go on to change the outcome of the game. Swinging at a first pitch that was way outside, Torres made it obvious how this at-bat was going to go. Five pitches later it was a swing and a miss on a knuckle curve nowhere near the strike zone and the Yankees’ rally cut short.
In Game 4 it was Torres who made the Yankees final out rolling over on a slider to third base with the tying run at second. The numbers say Torres had a fine postseason where he hit .308 (4-13), but he did not drive in a single run or record an extra-base hit the entire postseason. All of this after he collected 41 extra-base hits during the regular season.
As for Andujar, he was a completely different player in the postseason than he was for the Yankees during the regular season. He ended the postseason with a .200 batting average and only went 3-9 during the Division series. What was even more startling for the 23-year-old is that he did not record a single extra-base hit after hitting 76 in the regular season.
Not only was he ineffective with the bat, but his inability to be an above average defender ended up costing him plate appearances in the Bombers’ final postseason game. With the Yankees desperate for offense, Andujar was not even an option for manager Aaron Boone after Boone had him on the bench in Game 4.
There are plenty of reasons that the Yankees season came to an end Tuesday night at the hands of the rival Red Sox. The ineffectiveness of their two rookie phenom’s is at the forefront.