Yankees’ Gleyber Torres taking simple approach in return to shortstop

Yankees’ Gleyber Torres taking simple approach in return to shortstop

SARASOTA, Fla. — The Return to Shortstop continues to be a day-by-day success story for Gleyber Torres as he made the journey south Sunday from Tampa along with his second-base partner DJ LeMahieu so they could continue to find up-the-middle synergy.

The two turned a nifty double play in the third inning of the Yankees’ 5-5 tie with the Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium with Torres making the perfect feed to LeMahieu.

The main focus is on making the routine plays.

“Going back to shortstop — his natural position — he is happy with it,’’ said bench coach Carlos Mendoza, who acted as manager for the Yankees in this split-squad affair. “He worked hard in the offseason and he is physically in really good shape. He’s working on being consistent. He made some errors early in camp but we are playing spring training games. He is really focusing on making those routine plays, don’t be careless. He is a special player and I think we are all going to enjoy watching him play shortstop.’’

Gleyber Torres
Gleyber TorresGetty Images

Torres replaced Didi Gregorius. The Yankees let Gregorius move on to the Phillies after he did an outstanding job replacing Derek Jeter.

“Things are going really well,’’ said Torres, who went 0-for-3 and is hitting only .217 this spring. “I made some errors early but I am trying to figure out how to make everything easier and to work with DJ so things are more simple for me. We have really good communication between us and we are trying to make all the plays.’’

LeMahieu made two outstanding plays ranging up the middle with scoop throws to first.

“Making the routine plays is what it is all about,’’ Torres said, who grew up a shortstop and moved to second because Gregorius was at short. “I am really trying to think about what I am trying to do on every ground ball and prepare to make that play. I really don’t care how many errors I make in the spring. I just care about what I do in the season.’’

Torres is such an offensive force and the Yankees will need his monster bat with Aaron Judge sidelined with a stress fracture of the first right rib. Giancarlo Stanton also is out with a calf injury. Torres blasted 38 home runs last season to lead the Yankees, and became only the second Yankees middle infielder to lead the club in home runs in the past 100 years. Robinson Cano was the other.

Remember, Torres has shown such incredible ability at just 23.

“I’m not going to try to do too much at the plate, just try to help my team,’’ Torres said. “I’m not going to try to hit home runs. I have guys behind me who do a really good job. We just try to play baseball and make everything easy.’’

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