TAMPA, Fla. — Gleyber Torres knows how his spring training is going at shortstop.
“Not really good right now,” Torres said on Wednesday. “We know I’ve made five errors already. It’s spring training, but it’s a perfect time to figure out what I’m doing — the reasons — and just prepare really well [like] before and try to get ready for the season.”
When the season opens March 26 in Baltimore, Torres will be back at his natural shortstop position after the Yankees let Didi Gregorius leave without an offer as a free agent.
Torres has looked anything but natural in spring training. On Tuesday, he committed his fifth error in 10 games on a high throw to first base on a routine grounder. Earlier in the game, he saw a tough chance to his left bounce off his glove for what was scored a hit.
“It's a little bit frustrating, because I'm coming every day early, trying to get really good work defensively,” Torres said. “I go into the game and I make errors. It's tough, but it's the spring. I can make 20 errors and it doesn't matter what I do in the spring. I just try to prepare right now and be great in the season.”
Torres conducted the interview in English outside the clubhouse at Steinbrenner Field after a workout for the players who did not go across the state to Jupiter to play the Marlins.
He said several times that he is trying to be “perfect,” but the Yankees would be happy to accept less than that. They would accept the version of Torres who played shortstop in 77 games last season — most of them when Gregorius was recovering from Tommy John surgery — and made 11 errors.
“Just didn’t make a good throw,” manager Aaron Boone said of Tuesday’s error. “I'm really not worried about it. Work’s been good. I think that'll be something that cleans itself up as we continue to go, as he gets more regular reps. It’s nothing I’m too worried about right now.”
Torres is off to a slow start at the plate, as well, with a .200 batting average. But the Yankees aren’t concerned about that aspect of his game, not after Torres hit .278 with 38 homers, 90 RBIs and an .871 OPS in 2019.
With former Gold Glove second baseman DJ LeMahieu moving back to his natural position full-time and Gio Urshela expected to man third base, Torres will be bookended by superior defenders. The Yankees just need the 23-year-old to be solid.
“I need to prove I can play really well for my pitchers and my team,” Torres said. “I don’t focus outside the field. I just try to be great for my pitchers. I know if I make an error, that is an opportunity for the pitcher to throw more pitches like he’s not supposed to do, so I just try to be great to help my pitcher and my team.”
Torres said he speaks with Gregorius often and may have to lean on the new Phillie for some sage shortstop advice.
“I stay in really good communication with him outside the field,” Torres said. “We are really good friends. If I’ve got a question sometimes, I know I’ve got the opportunity to call him and just ask. He's always got the right answers for me.”
Notes & quotes: In Jupiter, Deivi Garcia allowed three runs in 3 1/3 innings as the Marlins beat the Yankees, 3-1 . . . Luis Cessa struck out seven in 3 2/3 innings of scoreless relief . . . Miguel Andujar started in leftfield and went 1-for-3 with an RBI double.