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Yankees GM Brian Cashman: Gleyber Torres ‘wasn’t in the best shape’ to start last season, sees second base as better fit

After Didi Gregorius left the Yankees to sign with the Phillies as a free agent last offseason, Gleyber Torres seemed to be the obvious choice to step into the starting shortstop role for the Yankees and hold onto that title for years to come.

But Torres scuffled in 2020, slashing .243/.356/.368 with just three home runs and 18 RBI in 42 games. He also committed nine errors in 135 chances at short, failing to show enough to keep that spot moving forward.

Yankees GM Brian Cashman joined the YES Network on Thursday night and spoke on a number of topics. On Torres, Cashman admitted that he thinks Torres is better suited at second base, and also offered a reason for why Torres’ numbers were down in 2020.

“I think he can do both. I think he’s a better second baseman than shortstop,” Cashman said. “I think that he can play shortstop. I think that ultimately he struggled in the beginning of the pandemic 60-game season because after spring training one shut down into spring training two, he did not, and I’m not playing the blame game, but he wasn’t in the best shape to start the second spring training, so upon his return from the shutdown, we spent a little bit of the first half playing catch-up. Maybe it was the first 40 or 45 games of the season playing catch-up.

“Once we got him back on line and in shape, you saw towards the last 20 games including the playoffs, the Gleyber Torres we’re used to seeing. I think the season that he had overall isn’t representing what he really is. Its more along the lines of what you saw in the postseason and what you saw the previous year, which anybody would want.

“So, he’s more than capable of playing short, but I acknowledge he’s a better second baseman than a shortstop.”