TAMPA — This time last year, Gleyber Torres was preparing to be the starting shortstop for the Yankees.
Now, he’s back at second base, looking to shake off his disappointing past two seasons.
Torres said he has been working with new hitting coach Dillon Lawson about getting his swing back to where it was in 2018 and 2019, when he was among MLB’s best young hitters.
He took just a couple of weeks off after the Yankees’ wild-card loss in Boston last October and worked with Lawson in Tampa.
Torres has worked on his mechanics, which he changed in both 2020 and 2021 while trying to get out of slumps.
“I didn’t hit too many balls in the air, just too many ground balls,’’ Torres said.
The Yankees’ agreement Tuesday to sign first baseman Anthony Rizzo means DJ LeMahieu likely will be headed back to an everyday utility role, which he was expected to have when he first signed with the team. There had been thoughts LeMahieu might play first base, with Torres at second, newly signed Josh Donaldson at third and Isiah Kiner-Falefa at shortstop, but Rizzo now will be the everyday first baseman.
LeMahieu has said throughout his time with the Yankees that he’s willing to play anywhere in the infield, but he acknowledged on Wednesday, “I’m probably the most comfortable at second, but the way our team is constructed right now, that kind of takes a backseat.”
MLB announced changes to the schedule because the first two series of the season were postponed due to the lockout. That impacted the Yankees’ first two series; a season-opening trip to the Rangers, followed by one at the Astros.
The Yankees will now head to Houston on June 30 for one game following a homestand that ends the previous day against the Athletics. The rest of the series versus the Astros will be made up as a doubleheader on July 21, when the Yankees will be coming off the All-Star break.
The four-game set at Texas, where the Yankees were supposed to play March 31-April 3, will be pushed back to the end of the regular season, with a game on Oct. 3, a doubleheader on Oct. 4 and the season finale on Oct. 5, followed by the start of the playoffs.
Jameson Taillon, who had offseason ankle surgery, threw two innings of live batting practice Wednesday and came out of it feeling healthy and encouraged about his progress.
“The stuff was way ahead of where I thought it would be,” Taillon said. “I think I’m way ahead of where I was last year, so I’m encouraged.”
Taillon was unable to communicate with the Yankees during his rehab because of the lockout, but arrived at spring training with the goal of proving he could be ready for Opening Day, which manager Aaron Boone has said he should be.
“I feel completely healthy,” Taillon said. “I’m not compromising anything. So I feel like I’m earning the opportunity to at least show them I’m ready.”
Ryan LaMarre arrived at camp Wednesday as a non-roster invitee. The 33-year-old played nine games with the Yankees last season when their outfield depth was decimated by injuries and COVID-19.
The Yankees also announced the signings of former Mets OF/INF Phillip Evans and 1B Ronald Guzman. Evans, 29, played 76 games with the Pirates last year.