The 20-year-old shortstop has been diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow and will undergo Tommy John surgery, ending his season, the Yankees announced Monday.
Torres is expected to recover in time for spring training next year, the team said.
Torres, who was acquired in last year’s trade with the Cubs involving Aroldis Chapman, injured the elbow playing for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre when he was tagged out while diving for the plate Saturday.
In 23 games in Triple-A this season, Torres hit .309 with two homers and 16 RBIs. He began the year with Double-A Trenton, where he batted .283 with five home runs and 18 RBIs in 32 games.
In an interview with WFAN’s Mike Francesa last month, Yankees manager Joe Girardi praised Torres for his performance in spring training, in which he batted .448.
“I thought it was a young man who really knew how to play the game, where the game was pretty slow for him. It didn’t speed up for him,” Girardi said. “And there’s obviously little things that all players have to improve on, but I think he’s done a good job of playing all over the infield. He’s played at second, short and third — short being his natural position. I think he knows how to grind out at-bats, what he needs to do in a certain at-bat. And I think he’s continued to do that in the minor leagues.”
There had been growing speculation that Torres could have been called up later this season to play third base, especially with Chase Headley hitting just .211 with one homer since the end of April. Baseball America ranked Torres the No. 2 prospect in all of baseball last month.
It’s been a rough week for the Yankees. Not only have they lost six straight games, pitchers CC Sabathia and Adam Warren were recently placed on the disabled list, and outfielder Aaron Hicks has been out since Thursday with an Achilles injury. And the Yankees also shut down first baseman Greg Bird’s rehab assignment due to his nagging ankle injury.
Torres’ injury now means that both the Yankees’ top hitting prospect and top pitching prospect — James Kaprielian — will have undergone Tommy John surgery this season.