Al Pedrique was concerned from the moment the play developed.
The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre manager watched as Gleyber Torres tried to score from second base. The throw from right field beat him to the plate but Torres tried to get around the catcher by sliding head first.
This is why they teach them not to slide head first, Pedrique said. Because Torres ended up in a heap behind the plate after being tagged out by the Buffalo Bisons in the fourth inning of the first half of a doubleheader at Coca-Cola Field Saturday night.
Torres, the No. 1 prospect in the New York Yankees organization, went to the hospital and got relatively good news. The Yankees posted on Twitter that he hyperextended his left elbow and that X-rays were negative. (Update: After initial good news, follow-up exams revealed Torres will need Tommy John surgery to repair the injury, the Yankees announced, putting him out for the season.)
PARMLEY showing off his arm! 🔥💪 pic.twitter.com/ocGGHWByWa
— Buffalo Bisons (@BuffaloBisons) June 17, 2017
"It's one thing that we teach as an organization, try not to have the guys slide head-first, any base and especially home plate because of all the gear the catcher has on," Pedrique said. "When I saw the slide it was a concern and then afterwards when I saw him stay on the ground, definitely it was a scary moment for everybody. He came back from the hospital. Everything's normal. So from that end, we're very excited he didn't get hurt worse. Again, that's one thing we try to tell the player and teach them how to slide. But in the moment of the game, the competition, sometimes they don't use the information to slide feet-first."
Torres is a rising star in the Yankees organization. The 20-year-old infielder is hitting .309 in his first 23 Triple-A games. He went 1 for 2 on Saturday before the injury, which will be evaluated when the team returns to Scranton after Sunday's series finale with the Bisons.
"Injuries are part of the game but if we can avoid one like that one, we're going to do the best we can to make sure they understand the reason why we don't like the head-first slide," Pedrique said. "He's a young guy. He has a long way to learn about a lot of things in the game but he has a lot of talent and again thank God he didn't get hurt worse."
Swept: Even without top-prospect Torres, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders were able to sweep the doubleheader against the Bisons, winning 6-2 and 4-0. Scranton has won the first three games of this series and have held the Bisons to just three runs. And the Herd doesn't win much in low-scoring games. They are just 5-23 when scoring three or fewer runs.
Game 1: Buffalo managed just six hits against Scranton's pitching, five of them coming off starter Chance Adams, the eighth-ranked prospect in the New York Yankees organization. Adams improved to 4-2, giving up one run on those five hits with three walks and four strikeouts in five innings.
Scranton broke a 1-1 game with three runs in the fifth to open up a 4-1 lead. Dustin Fowler singled in one run. Reliever Matt Dermody issued an intentional walk to load the bases then got a strikeout for the second out of the inning. But Clint Frazier singled to short, scoring one run, and a throwing error from Opitz allowed another run to score.
Game 2: Scranton broke the scoreless tie in the sixth inning. Ji-Man Choi had a one-out single, took second when Bisons reliever Chad Girodo walked Clint Frazier and took third when the Herd couldn't turn a double play on a grounder from Jake Cave. Choi then scored on a single from Cito Culver.
Wilkin Castillo homered to left in the seventh with Choi adding an RBI double, and Donovan Solano scoring from third on a wild pitch to give Scranton a cushion.
Running out of the inning: The Bisons have used aggressive baserunning to their advantage this season. It didn't work out so well Saturday. The fifth inning of the nightcap is the perfect example.
Christian Lopes had a lead-off double followed by a single from Shane Opitz. But as Jonathan Diaz laid a bunt down the first-base line, Lopes didn't break fast enough for home and was thrown out trying to get back to third base. With two outs, Jake Elmore singled to short and Opitz tried to score from second but was easily caught at the plate.
"Scoring is tough and I think we pushed the envelope a bit too much at times today," Bisons manager Bobby Meacham said. "I think we tried to do too much today. When you're not scoring runs you try to figure out little ways to do something good, but sometimes it doesn't turn out and it in a close game like that, it burned us."
Rehab start: Glenn Sparkman will have his Major League rehabilitation assignment transferred to Buffalo and is scheduled to start Sunday's game for the Herd. Sparkman has been out since breaking his thumb in spring training. In two starts for Double-A New Hampshire, he is 1-1, giving up three runs on six hits over 8 2/3 innings of work. Sparkman was selected by the Jays from the Kansas City Royals in the December's Rule 5 Draft.
Attendance: The announced paid attendance was 8,435.
Up next: The series and homestand concludes at 1:05 p.m. Sunday.