Storylines: Torres to undergo Tommy John

Top Storylines:

– The New York Yankees have just been handed a serious blow.  Top prospect Gleyber Torres has been diagnosed with a torn UCL in his left elbow and will need season-ending Tommy John surgery per a team announcement.  The infielder was in the midst of a hot season in the minors as he was hitting .287/.383/.480 with 7 home runs between Double-A and Triple-A.  The Yankees were reportedly giving serious consideration to promoting him soon to take over full-time at the hot corner as third baseman Chase Headley was just not getting it done.  Obviously that is no longer an option.  As disappointing it is to lose Torres for the season, it is not crippling.  The Yankees are still at the top of the AL East Division and have a plethora of young talent that can take them far through the rest of the season.  They still may need to make a trade at the deadline, but have the prospects to do it.  The Yankees are most likely to swing a deal for a third baseman at the deadline to replace Headley and there are some intriguing options of the trade market such as Chicago White Sox third baseman Todd Frazier and Kansas City Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas.  Torres is expected to be ready to go at the start of the 2018 Spring Training so the news isn’t all bad.  He’s unfortunately missing time and an opportunity to play at the major league level.  His time will come though and hopefully the injury does not set him back from having a productive career.

Other Storylines:

– Baltimore Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy has been diagnosed with a right wrist fracture and will be shut down from all baseball activities from four-to-six weeks per Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun.  He suffered the injury when he got hit on the wrist during an at-bat against the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday afternoon.  The initial X-rays were not promising, but at least the injury isn’t season ending.  He will miss some time so veteran Ruben Tejada will take over shortstop for the time being.

– The Pittsburgh Pirates are expected to trade center fielder Andrew McCutchen at the trade deadline per Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  He’s enjoying a resurgent 2017 season after a forgettable 2016 season, but the Pirates won’t trade him for the sake of trading him.  They will trade him for a younger and cheaper option at center field much like they did with the Francisco Liriano and Mark Melancon deals from last year’s deadline.

– The San Diego Padres are reportedly seeking a trade return for southpaw Brad Hand, rivaling the one the Milwaukee Brewers got from the San Francisco Giants last year when southpaw Will Smith was sent to the Bay Area per Rosenthal.  The Giants sent one of their top prospects to the Brewers for Smith, so the Padres are expecting the same kind of haul the Giants got.  Hand is enjoying a solid season out of the bullpen for the Padres, but with the Padres still rebuilding with young talent, he represents one of their top trade chips.

– The Texas Rangers have had a season of highs and lows.  They ride a terrible losing streak at first and then follow up with an incredible winning streak.  Still they remain a question mark as to whether or not they are truly a contender.  If the Rangers fall out of contention, they will place catcher Jonathan Lucroy on the trading block to try and recoup some value they were forced to give up in order to bring him to Texas for the stretch run.  They will not consider trading Yu Darvish despite him pitching in a contract year as they want to try and keep their pitching intact for the 2018 season.

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