Another day, another alarming health situation for the Yankees. Second baseman Gleyber Torres left the team’s game against Toronto on Friday after slipping on the outfield grass and potentially suffering an injury to his right knee (video via MLB.com). Torres initially stayed in the game in the wake of his fourth-inning fall, but the Yankees removed him after the sixth. Injuries to stars has been one of the main themes of the Yankees’ season, but they’ve weathered all of them en route to 100 wins and an American League East championship. The Yankees are still playing for homefield advantage throughout the postseason, though, and will obviously aim for a World Series title once the playoffs arrive. With that in mind, New York can ill afford to lose one of the best middle infielders in baseball in the 22-year-old Torres. [UPDATE: Torres “felt a little weak in his lower legs,” manager Aaron Boone told Bryan Hoch of MLB.com and other reporters. He’ll get checked out Saturday.]
Here’s more from the division…
- Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun profiles Justin Smoak’s evolution into a clubhouse leader and mentor for the Blue Jays’ wave of upstart talents. Cavan Biggio and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. are among the teammates who effuse praise for Smoak and the impact he’s already had on their young careers. “He’s a guy who has a relationship with every single guy in this locker room, no matter if they’re an up-and-down guy or if they’re playing every day,” Biggio says of Smoak. “It just shows how much he emphasizes being a good teammate and it just shows the kind of person he is overall.” Smoak fondly reminisces of the 2015-16 playoff runs and discusses how he and his family have come to consider Toronto a second home, though he also sounds like a veteran who recognizes the writing on the wall. MLBTR examined the pending free agent’s 2019 season earlier Friday.
- The Rays are likely to activate right-hander Yonny Chirinos from the injured list Sunday, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. Chirinos has been a starter for most of the year (a solid one at that), but he’ll work as a reliever for at the least the initial part of his return, according to Topkin. The Rays have been without Chirinos since they placed him on the IL on Aug. 5 with an inflamed middle finger on his pitching hand.
- The Red Sox are “likely” to shut injured infielder Michael Chavis down for the season, per Steve Hewitt of the Boston Herald. Chavis will next take the field during winter ball in Puerto Rico, Hewitt adds. An oblique strain has kept the 22-year-old Chavis out of action since Aug. 11, and it appears his rookie campaign will end with a .254/.322/.444 line and 18 home runs in 382 plate appearances.
- Blue Jays minor league righty Luis Quinones received an 80-game suspension after testing positive for the performance-enhancing drugs Nandrolone, John Lott of The Athletic reports. The ban will take effect at the beginning of the 2020 season. The 21-year-old Quinones was a 34th-round pick of the Jays this past June who produced stellar results in 36 2/3 innings between the rookie and low-A levels. He wrapped up his first professional season with a 2.95 ERA and 14.0 K/9 and 4.7 BB/9.