It was a good Gleyber Day and a bad Gleyber Day on Memorial Day.
Most of all, Monday was a learning day for Gleyber Torres, who made two mistakes in the Yankees’ 5-1 loss to the Astros at the Stadium.
The 21-year-old rookie sensation had a hit off Justin Verlander and made two nice defensive plays. But he also got picked off at second by Verlander to end a threat and committed a throwing error on an easy play, leading to an unearned run.
“I learn every day,” said Torres, who is hitting .317 with nine homers and 24 RBIs after his first 31 big-league games. “I try to be professional every day. I try to help my team and try to take more experience if I can — do my job every time and be better every day.”
Torres’ day began with a promotion as Aaron Boone reworked his order. The highlights: Giancarlo Stanton was given a day to rest, Didi Gregorius was dropped to seventh, Greg Bird moved up to fourth and Torres, who hadn’t hit higher than seventh and had mostly batted ninth since debuting on April 22, was in the fifth spot.
“It just felt like a natural day to slide him more in the middle situation,” Boone said.
Boone said he doesn’t know if it will be just a one-day thing for Torres, who on Friday became the youngest player in American League history to homer in four straight games.
“I just try to do my job in any position,” Torres said.
His first at-bat Monday came with one out in the second and the Yankees down 3-0, and he did his job. Torres lined a curveball into center for a single, his lone hit in four at-bats. But with two on and two outs, Verlander picked off Torres at second.
“I know it was a good time for the team to make maybe more runs, the first [Yankees] runs in the game,” Torres said. “He picked me. I feel super-bad for that. I will prepare tomorrow and be better.”
Boone said that this was one of those “teaching moments.”
“Gleyber is such a smart player,” Boone said. “ . . . I’m confident that he’ll learn from that. He’ll kind of catalog that and grow from that.”
Then there were the defensive adventures at second.
First the bad: Yuli Gurriel opened the fourth with a routine bouncer to Torres, who took his time and pulled Bird off first with the throw for an error, his fifth. Boone called it “another kind of teaching moment.”
“Sometimes we put in too [much] confidence in that play,” Torres said. “I put too [much] confidence and I throw bad. I’ll be better tomorrow.”
Torres was better in the fifth and the sixth, racing behind second to make a running catch in each inning.
The mistakes hadn’t dragged him down.
“What I do love about him,” Boone said, “is that he plays the game with so much confidence that he’s not affected.”