SPORTS

Torres says he’s taking switch back to second base in stride

BALTIMORE (AP) — Gleyber Torres says he is taking his move from shortstop back to second base in stride.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone decided to make the change after Torres made 18 errors this season, including four in the past week.

“Everything for the team,“ Torres said before Tuesday night’s game at the Baltimore Orioles. “I didn’t really do a good job at short. I made too many errors and I feel the way we are right now we can’t make any errors. So, I feel really good to move to second and I just want to be part of the team.”

Torres was primarly a second baseman in 2018 and 2019, seeing time at shortstop when Didi Gregorius was hurt. When Gregorius left as a free agent ahead of the 2020 season, the Yankees moved Torres across the diamond to shortstop.

Boone is moving Gio Urshela from third base to shortstop and DJ LeMahieu from second to to third base. Torres made the switch for Monday’s game against Minnesota.

“I still feel like his best baseball is ahead of him,” Boone said. “I just felt like the timing was right. Over the last week, I felt like the weight of a couple of mistakes he’s made out there has been kind of impactful.

Torres began Tuesday with a .249 with seven homers and 45 RBIs over 109 games. He hit .243 with three homers and 16 RBIs during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. Torres batted .278 with 38 homers and 90 RBIs in 2019, making the AL All-Star team for the second consecutive season.

“It’s weighed him down a little bit,“ Boone said of Torres’ defense. ”Hopefully, this is something that can free him up a little here down the stretch. Hopefully, it will put us in a position to go out and play our best baseball.”

“The way I played the first two years of my career, I played second and made two All-Star games,” Torres said. “Whatever they need. If I have to move back to short next season, I’ll be available. If not, I’ll stay at second and do my thing like the last couple of years.”

Torres said he does not have a preference to move back to shortstop next year.

“I am positive he can be a really good second baseman,” Boone said. “When he makes a mistake on defense, it tends to last for weeks. If you really look at it and really watch us closely, there’s been a lot of steady play by him at shortstop. There’s been a lot of him making the routine play. He’s had a game here and there where he’s made a mistake that winds up costing us or we don’t get that final out and it creates a bigger story.

“That part of the pressure of that position a little and it’s had a little bit of an impact. But I do feel he’s capable of playing the position.”

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More AP MLB coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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