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Gleyber Torres hitless in debut for Yankees

The major-league debut of 21-year-old Gleyber Torres was somewhat Jeterian, but not in the usual meaning. Former Yankees captain Derek Jeter was 0-for-5 in his first game on May 29, 1995. The heralded Torres went 0-for-4 Sunday as the team’s new second baseman.

Presumably, as with Jeter, better days lie ahead.

“It felt good, super excited,’’ said Torres, who added that he had three or four hours of sleep Saturday night after learning of his promotion from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. “I enjoyed my first game in the big leagues.’’

A 5-1 victory over the Blue Jays was most satisfying, Torres said, as was being part of the roll call when his name was shouted by the Yankee Stadium Bleacher Creatures. “Super happy for that,’’ he said with a smile.

His day at the plate was challenging. Torres struck out with runners on second and third and one out in the second, grounded into a double play with two on in the fourth, fouled out with men on second and third and one out in the sixth and flied out in the eighth.

“Those numbers today mean nothing,’’ winning pitcher Luis Severino said. “He can hit.’’

Aaron Boone said Torres was “really anxious, excited, you could tell, probably the nerves’’ in his first at-bat. “Kind of jumping out there pretty hard.’’

The manager termed the other at-bats as “steps in the right direction each time. Just didn’t impact the ball yet, but overall he got better at controlling the zone, and ultimately that’s what it comes down to.’’

Torres was obtained from the Cubs in 2016 as the key player in the Aroldis Chapman deal. The Yankees promoted him after he compiled a .347/.393/.510 slash line in Triple-A. He had one home run and 11 RBIs in 14 games for Scranton.

The Yankees want him here long term, not just to take a look.

“We think he’s such an important part of our future,’’ Boone said. “We think he’s going to be a mainstay in our lineup for a long time. We didn’t want a short-term need, for us to grab him when maybe we didn’t feel like he had that traction or was truly ready. We feel really good about that he’s in a good place coming here to help impact our club.’’

Torres hit .219 in spring training. The Yankees believe that was due to missing time in 2017 after an injury in June required Tommy John surgery on his left (non-throwing) arm.

Asked what changed between spring training and his surge in Triple-A, Torres said, “Really, nothing changed. More at-bats for sure, more timing. Every day I feel more comfortable.’’

In evaluating Torres’ game, Boone said, “I don’t necessarily think there’s anything that’s ‘wow.’ He’s not going to go out in BP and hit the ball like some of our guys. He’s not going to wow you with his speed, but he does everything really well on a baseball field.

“He can hit, he uses the entire field, his strike-zone recognition. I think he’s going to be a guy that walks over time. He’s a really good defender at all three spots [second base, shortstop and third base]. We think he has a chance to be a very special player and a very complete player.’’

Giancarlo Stanton was asked what advice he would give Torres.

“Just to not try to change anything, I guess,’’ he said. “Coming, the biggest thing would be you think it’s a different game, you’ve got to change something because it’s a new level.

“He’s good already. He’s going to prove himself, and it’ll be nice to see. I like how there’s a lot going on [with his swing], but it’s very precise. Some cool action in there and there’s some pop at the end. It’s very cool.’’

New York Sports