Aaron Boone believes Gleyber Torres is just in 'a little bit of a rut' at shortstop

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Gleyber Torres fielding in road uniform close shot
Gleyber Torres fielding in road uniform close shot

It's no secret to anyone who's watched the Yankees this year that they have a problem with Gleyber Torres at shortstop.

The issues have been there ever since Didi Gregorius left in free agency to play in Philadelphia, and Torres made the move to short from second, but this season has really magnified the problems that are impossible for GM Brian Cashman and the Yankees front office to ignore.

Torres has committed three errors (one throwing and two fielding) over the last two games, and wasn't listed in the lineup for Tuesday's matchup with the Rays -- though manager Aaron Boone says that it just has to do with giving him a day off, and nothing more. Gio Urshela will take his place at shortstop for the day.

Despite the numerous mistakes Torres is making in the field, Boone gave a lengthy response as to why he thinks Torres has actually improved over the last year, and is just in a rut right now that he needs to get past.

"Look, I think over the last year his routine, his physical preparation has gotten very solid, and I think trying to take a step back and look at Gleyber defensively, and starting in spring training I feel like he's a much better defender and in a much better place than he ever has been," Boone said pregame over Zoom Tuesday.

"He's had a couple of spells, obviously the first homestand when he had a couple of games where he made some mistakes and then obviously the few errors in the last two games that probably snowballed on him a little bit. You know you get out there and you start playing to not make a mistake when you've already made one, and that's what we've got to get past and through.

"And also take a step back and look back at he's played a lot of really good shortstop this year. A lot of really solid shortstop and I feel like it's been in the middle of when we started to play a lot better after the early season. Where the pitching fueled us and the defense fueled us and Gleyber was a big part of that.

"So I look at the last couple of days out there more of a little bit of a rut and a little bit of a snowball effect that you've got to get past as a big league shortstop. I don't want to take away from what I feel like is a lot of progress that he's made out there."

Torres came into spring training last season a bit out of shape, something that Cashman notably called him out for at the end of the year.

But the fourth year player did indeed look better in training this past spring, so the struggles may have to do more with his skills than the Yankees had hoped.