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Friday, June 24, 2022

Gleber Torres continues to dominate Orioles pitching

If Gleber Torres played every game against the Baltimore Orioles, he would be destined for a plaque in Cooperstown.

Unfortunately for Torres, the Orioles only appear on the schedule 19 times a year. And it will be a relief for O when the bombers move on to face the other enemy.

The Yankees’ infielder not only posts pretty offensive stats against Baltimore every year, he does so in a way that aims to publicly embarrass the entire franchise.

After a two-home attempt against his favorite opponent in the Yankees’ wild win on Tuesday night, Torres was predictably in high spirits.

“Sure, I feel good,” he said briefly.

Moving on to Wednesday’s rubber match, the Yankees have a 46-17 record against Baltimore since Torres’ debut on April 22, 2018. Yes, that entire period coincided with the Orioles’ ongoing rebuilding, but the .730 win percentage against any major league team is still mind-blowing.

For Torres in particular, his personal numbers versus the Orioles keep producing double and triple takes to verify that they are indeed correct.

For his career, Torres (who has made more plate appearances against the O than any other team), boasts a puffy-chested .323./397/.642 slash line against the Baltimore Birds. With 18 home runs, 16 doubles, and a triple against him, Torres recorded an extra base hit every seven times he stepped into the box against a pitcher wearing a black and orange. His 1.039 OPS from the Orioles pitching is 44 points more than any other team against which he has played at least 10 games. He has scored 47 RBIs and 43 runs in 64 matches. In short, he becomes an absolute terror every time the Orioles lands at Yankee Stadium or he crosses I-95 to Camden Yards.

Going even deeper, Torres has had many of the most bullied pitchers in his career, current or former Orioles. Against John Means, the team’s clear ace of the past four years, Torres is 3-for-8 (.375) with three walks. Mychal Givens, longtime Orioles reliever, who escaped from the team via trade in 2020 and hasn’t faced Torres since, surrendered 1.200 OPS in 12 plate appearances.

Then there’s poor David Hayes.

Hayes spent 2018-2020 bouncing between the Orioles’ starting rotation and the bullpen and is currently in organization for the Rays. Torres and Hayes have collided 11 times while Hayes used to play for Baltimore. Three of those matchups ended in hits, and they were all home runs. Three others resulted in walking. Hayes never dismissed Torres on flying balls in the outfield, all of which baseball-reference classified as “deep”. He was never able to get Torres out, or even get the ball to hit the ground.

This season, while the Orioles have actually kept him in control for the most part, Torres has made Bruce Zimmerman the new object of his suffering. Both Torres’ homers came on Tuesday night against Zimmerman, who now has 1.625 OPS from nine meetings.

The whole Torres vs. Baltimore thing is a fun look at baseball’s inherent randomness and an intriguing performance from Torres as a player. When facing teams with a losing record, Torres’ OPS is .830. Against teams above .500, that shrinks to .746. While succeeding against bad teams and coming back against good teams isn’t exactly a revolutionary idea, and certainly not exclusive to Torres, it does speak to some of his limitations.

For the type of player the Yankees envisioned when they trade him in, Torres needs to rise up against good teams at the moment, not run away from them. With a decent amount of pressure off his shoulders this season (both from no longer playing shortstop and the Yankees’ overall success taking him off the magnifying glass), Torres has returned from his unbroken 2021 season.

Now, if only the Yankees could trick him into seeing a cartoon Oriole on every pitcher he came across, he’d have the player of his dreams.

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World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Deskhttps://worldnationnews.com/
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