WASHINGTON — Gleyber Torres gives and then he almost takes it away. That’s the balance with the Yankees’ starting shortstop. He can get hot with the bat, like he did Sunday, and carry a team. He snapped his 0-for streak to start the season Sunday with three hits, including a home run and two RBI as the Yankees rallied for a 3-2 win over the defending World Series Champion Nationals.
The Yankees (2-1) won their first series of the season as they head out for their two-game series against the Phillies beginning Monday.
Torres’ defense once again almost gave it away.
He was charged with a throwing error in the bottom of the eighth that allowed Nationals speedy shortstop Trea Turner to reach and forced Tommy Kahnle to do extra work to get out of a jam. Torres’ sloppy throw that pulled DJ LeMahieu off the bag was his second error of the season, which is just three-games old.
Sunday, however, the balance swung Torres and the Yankees’ way with some help.
Luke Voit’s first hit of the season, which snapped an 0-for-8 streak, was a homer off Will Harris that tied the game.
Torres snapped Patrick Corbin’s bid for a no hitter and his 0-for-7 streak in the fourth with a single, his first hit of the season. He homered off Corbin in the seventh to start the rally and then in the eighth he singled with the bases loaded to give the Yankees their first lead of the day.
Torres hit a career-high 38 homers last season, helping carry a team that lost its major sluggers to injuries throughout the season.
“I would already say he’s one of the best players in the league at 23 years of age,” Boone said. “A guy that I feel like is driven like Gleyber and wants to be a great player in this game. Hopefully, he continues to grow, because he is in a lot of ways still learning different things. He does a really good job of making adjustments, which I think is critical if you’re going to be a really good big league player, let alone a superstar player. … He processes things really well and really has a good understanding of what teams and what pitchers are trying to do to him. He’s shown the ability to really make solid adjustments and I would expect that to continue and as he gets more and more entrenched in the league.
“Hopefully that’s something that continues to serve him well and allows him to keep becoming a better player,” Boone said.
Torres has worked hard on his defense, using the pandemic-caused shutdown to work with bench coach Carlos Mendoza. Over the last two seasons, he has finished in the top-ten in errors committed, with 17 in 2018 and 20 last season. Back in the original spring training, Torres had looked sloppy, committing five errors in 10 games before camp was shut down by the coronavirus.
“Mendoza helped me during the offseason. We started taking ground balls during December so we prepared really well, Torres said. “During the spring training, it was tough during the game, but we fix it, we fix during the quarantine days. I stayed and I take ground balls almost every day to try to prepare really well and during the summer camp too. I believe everything about what I do to prepare during this short season and also really Mendy helped me.”
Torres said Mendoza has emphasized to him to focus on making the routine plays.
“Try to do every routine, groundballs to make outs and be simple. I mean don’t do too much,” Torres said. “Just want to help the pitcher and try to make all the outs possible.”
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