Gleyber Torres starts at shortstop for first time this season as Isiah Kiner-Falefa sits with sore hamstring – The Mercury News

ST. PETERSBURG — Gleyber Torres made his first start at shortstop this season on Tuesday night. With Isiah Kiner-Falefa still out with a sore left hamstring and Aaron Boone wanting to give Aaron Judge a day of rest from the turf at Tropicana Field, the Yankees manager felt it was best to use Torres at shortstop.

“With Judge being down, we needed an outfielder so I used Marwin (Gonzalez) there and I’ve been wanting to get Gleyber in at shortstop at different points a few times this year and just feel like today was the day to do that, “Boone said. “I want to keep that just in play to have that flexibility, for when things like this come up.”

Torres was the Yankees everyday shortstop until last September, when they admitted he is a better second baseman.

The difference between Torres at shortstop and second base is pretty stark. Torres has three errors in 193 chances at second base this season. He has seven defensive runs saved at second base, which is a huge swing compared to the -10 defensive runs saved he had last season at shortstop, according to FanGraphs. He committed 18 errors at shortstop last season, eight fielding and 10 throwing.

Kiner-Falefa said that he felt he could be available Tuesday night, but agreed with the team’s cautious approach.

“For me, I feel like I’m the runner on the team. So even if it starts to feel good, just knowing that that’s my job to run,I don’t want to be out there and run hard one time and then (hurt it again),” Kiner-Falefa said. “Iit takes away a lot of my games. So for them the smartest thing for us to do is take it slow. Just because of what my game is.

I was good to go (Monday) I feel a lot better (Tuesday).”

The field at Tropicana Field, hard artificial turf, is also a consideration.

CHAPMAN UPDATE

Aroldis Chapman will make a rehab appearance this weekend with Double-A Somerset. The closer threw to live hitters on Tuesday at the Yankees’ player development complex in Tampa with Boone and others watching.

“I thought it was good. I thought stuff was good. Twenty-one pitches. I thought it was another good step for him. So I think he’s gonna be scheduled for an outing now this weekend,” Boone said.

In his absence, Clay Holmes has made a strong case to be the Yankees closer — even to Chapman.

“I’m past that point in my career in which I would fight for a role, for the closer role, I’ve already gone through that. When I got to the Major Leagues, they gave me the opportunity to close and I took advantage of the opportunity. Pretty much the same thing is happening to [Holmes]. If he has that role, it is because he is doing well,” Chapman told reporters. “I am here, trying to recover, come back, be well, healthy, help the team in any way, in any role. [Holmes] is doing an excellent job right now and I think he deserves the role that he has.”

Zack Britton also threw for the major league coaches.

“I was encouraged today. It was good to get over there and obviously see him throw live,” Boone said. “Seeing Britt throw a bullpen is really encouraging too. So yeah, good to see our guys moving in a good direction.”

HELLO AGAIN

The Yankees claimed Albert Abreu off waivers from the Royals. Abreu was the reliever they sent to the Rangers to get catcher Jose Trevino.

“I think we saw him really take a huge step for us last year. He pitched really well for us last year, pitching meaningful games for us down the stretch,” Boone said. “So hopefully, we can get that guy back and get him going and making sure he’s a contributor for what we’re doing.”

Originally signed by the Houston Astros as a non-drafted free agent in 2013, Abreu was acquired by the Yankees from Houston along with right-handed pitcher Jorge Guzman in exchange for catcher Brian McCann and cash considerations in 2016. Earlier this year, Abreau was acquired by the Rangers along with LHP Robert Ahlstrom in exchange for Trevino. He was designated for assignment by the Rangers on May 30 and acquired by the Royals, who designated him for assignment on June 17.

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