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Yankees top prospect Gleyber Torres out for season with torn UCL

TAMPA, FL - MARCH 02: New York Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres (81) during the Spring Training game between the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees on March 02, 2017, at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, FL. (Photo by /Icon Sportswire)
Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire

As recently as last week, many were speculating that it was only a matter of time until the New York Yankees called up top prospect Gleyber Torres to take over on a full-time basis at third base.

Now, Yankees fans have to wait until next season.

Torres was placed on the disabled list on Sunday, and on Monday the Yankees announced that the highly regarded infielder will have to undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery to repair a torn UCL in his left elbow.

Torres was forced to leave Saturday’s game with Triple-A Scranton early after appearing to hyperextend his elbow sliding into home plate. X-rays were negative, but further testing on Monday revealed the muscle tear. The Yankees say he is expected to be ready to play by the time spring training rolls around next year.

Torres began the season in Double-A before being promoted to Triple-A in late May. In 96 plate appearances after moving up to the top level of the minors, the 20-year-old was hitting .309/.406/.457 with two homers and 16 RBIs. He hit .273/.367/.496 in 32 games with Double-A Trenton to begin the season.

The injury likely means that Chase Headley’s job at the hot corner for the Yankees is safe for now. The veteran switch-hitter started the season on fire, but has really hit the skids at the plate of late. In 158 plate appearances since the beginning of May, Headley has an on-base percentage of just .285 with one home run. He hit .301 with three homers in April.

Torres, who is regarded as the top prospect in the Yankees’ deep system and one of the top overall prospects in baseball, came over in the deal last summer that sent closer Aroldis Chapman to the Chicago Cubs. After helping Chicago win the World Series, Chapman returned to New York over the winter on a five-year deal worth $86 million.

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