Somewhere between the pin-drop silent visiting clubhouse of Houston’s Minute Maid Park and the boisterous first day that pitchers and catchers arrived at George M. Steinbrenner Field, the sting of playoff elimination transformed into hunger for Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres, who says that a four-month layoff has not altered that goal.
“Last year is in the past right now,” Torres said on Monday. “We forgot that. Our mentality and our focus is on the short season right now. We have a mission; the mission is winning everything. That is the job, that's the focus and mentality, and we’re preparing right now to get there.”
As Torres readies to take over as the Bombers’ everyday shortstop, the 23-year-old is continuing the efforts that started on the sun-splashed fields of Tampa, Fla. He had planned on serving as half of a stellar double-play combination up the middle with DJ LeMahieu, but those plans were altered when the three-time Gold Glove Award winner tested positive for the coronavirus earlier this month.
With LeMahieu’s return date unknown, Torres is preparing for the possibility that he could instead be partnered with a different second baseman. Yankees manager Aaron Boone has suggested that Tyler Wade, Thairo Estrada and non-roster invitee Matt Duffy are all in the mix to see time there.