Gleyber Torres was having a tumultuous week, before it even reached its midway point.
But the Yankees are sticking by the shortstop-turned-second baseman as they hold out hope of having him play an important part in their playoff push.
“I feel like he’s responded to some adversity within the game,” manager Aaron Boone said Thursday before the Yankees wrapped up a series at Baltimore. “That’s been important to see. I continue to say, if we can get him going like we know he’s capable of, he’s a real difference-maker for us. So anything’s possible here moving forward with how we align things, but feel like it’s important to try to get him going too.”
The Yankees moved Torres away from shortstop on Monday in an attempt to take some pressure off him and to return him to his natural position. But the switch has not come without more bumps in the road for Torres.
In Wednesday’s game alone, he experienced a low and a high in a span of the final two innings. In the eighth, with a man on first and no outs, Torres bobbled a line drive. Then, after recovering, he threw to first base instead of second, losing a shot at a potential double play. It gave way to a two-run home run with two outs.
Torres rebounded in the ninth by singling and later scoring the go-ahead run from second base on Brett Gardner’s bloop to shallow left field. Torres was nearly at third base by the time the ball landed just out of reach of shortstop Richie Martin, but Boone said it was a good read instead of a case of being reckless with one out.
“I thought it was the right read right away, because from my vantage point, obviously with the infield being in, I felt like it was a hit all the way,” Boone said. “He actually slowed down when he got to third, when he was already in no-man’s land. So at that point, just keep on rolling. But I thought the initial read was aggressive and I thought really good actually.”
Boone said he also liked how Torres bounced back in Tuesday’s game. After Torres made an error at second base on a tailor-made double play ball, he turned another double play later in the inning. Still, Torres was pulled two innings later as Boone eventually admitted he was unhappy with his lack of hustle on a groundout.
Aside from his defensive issues, Torres was struggling at the plate. He entered Thursday batting .253 with a career-low .674 OPS.