Surprising injury ends the season of Yankees top prospect Gleyber Torres

For the New York Yankees, a surprising season that has them atop the AL East standings has now come with a surprising injury — Gleyber Torres, their top prospect, will miss the rest of the season after doctors decided he needs Tommy John surgery.

[Fantasy Football is open! Sign up now]

Here’s the surprising part: Torres isn’t a pitcher, he’s an infielder, who was primed to join the Yankees soon. And he needs Tommy John surgery to repair the elbow on his non-throwing arm. Safe to say this isn’t the typical Tommy John story.

This is what the Yankees said Monday afternoon:

A silver lining about this atypical Tommy John surgery: Because he’s not a pitcher and because it’s not his throwing arm, Torres is expected to be ready by the start of spring training, rather than the usual 12-18 month recovery time that comes with Tommy John surgery. Still, that doesn’t help the Yankees at the moment.

Gleyber Torres is the No. 2 prospect in baseball, but he's now out until 2018. (AP)
Gleyber Torres is the No. 2 prospect in baseball, but he’s now out until 2018. (AP)

Torres, the No. 2 overall prospect in baseball, was hitting .273/.367/.496 in Triple-A so far this season. He earned a lot of attention in the spring for hitting .448/.469/.931 with the big-league team in the Grapefruit League. Recent chatter said the Yankees could call on Torres to play third base this summer, taking over for Chase Headley.

And that all changed with a headfirst slide. Torres injured his elbow sliding headfirst into home plate while trying to score from second base Saturday. Yankees Triple-A manager Al Pedrique told the Buffalo News after the game:

“It’s one thing that we teach as an organization … try not to have the guys slide head-first into any base and especially home plate because of all the gear the catcher has on.”

The timing here could be better as far as the big-league club is concerned too. The Yankees are coming off a weekend sweep at the hands of the Oakland Athletics. They’ve now lost six in a row and the Boston Red Sox have tied them atop the AL East.

More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

– – – – – –

Mike Oz is the editor of Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!