VENICE, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 28: Gleyber Torres #25 of the New York Yankees makes the throw to first base in the first inning during the spring training game against the Atlanta Braves at Cool Today Park on February 28, 2020 in Venice, Florida.
(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

This baseball postponement has given New York Yankees fans a lot to think about, including Gleyber Torres and his defense.

Allison Case

There’s no specific timetable as to when Opening Day for the New York Yankees will be. With that said, the focus is primarily on the negatives surrounding the season. There’s so much uncertainty and sometimes that carries over to the status of the starting lineup.

With extended time, the Yankees are likely to earn back some of their big guns, such as Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge. But regardless, there are still questions that didn’t receive answers during the shortened spring training period.

Most of the talk has been surrounding the rotation and who’ll fill the open slots. Nevertheless, many have expressed concerns over Gleyber Torres at the shortstop position.

His defensive stats during spring training were less than impressive, resulting in five errors in 56 innings at shortstop. He usually seemed uncomfortable and out of place at that spot.

For Torres, shortstop is his natural position. He came up through the system primarily residing in that role. During his time in various levels of the minor leagues, he logged 321 games at shortstop while only playing 16 and 23 games at second and third base, respectively.

Yankees fans are used to seeing Torres man second base, as that’s where he first spent time after receiving his promotion to the big leagues. That all changed when Didi Gregorius was recovering from surgery in 2019 and the need was greater for Torres at shortstop. In his major league career, he’s played 64% of his games at second base.

But now that DJ LeMahieu has made second base his home and Gregorius is in Philadelphia, Torres is the choice at shortstop. And why not, since he spent his entire development working from that role?

This spring wasn’t ideal but the concerns over his defense shouldn’t even be present. Torres very clearly spent a significant amount of time manning the shortstop position in his formative years. In fact, he made the switch over to second base pretty seamlessly.

The shortstop position is entirely different, involving different responsibilities and a lengthier throw. For Torres, this should be a walk in the park once he gets back into the swing of things. It’s just a matter of repetition and continuing to work on becoming familiar once again.

Fans are also forgetting that he played the majority of his games in 2019 at the shortstop position. Playing as the No. 1 guy for that spot is something he’s done before and the panic emerging after warm-up games is simply laughable.

Torres is a quality athlete who’s proven that he’s able to make significant in-game adjustments to improve his play. We’ve all seen it at the plate and even on the field. Give him some time to fully warm up before judging his full defensive ability.

Fans will certainly miss Gregorius just because of his suave play and postseason heroics. But the shortstop position will be just fine in the hands of Torres once the season fully starts.

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