NEW YORK – Gleyber Torres had just concluded a miserable late afternoon, the kind that makes you dwell on missed opportunities well into evening.
He’d gone 0-for-4 in a recent one-run loss to the Chicago White Sox, popping out in the ninth with the tying run aboard in the first game of a doubleheader.
A trail of regrets followed Torres into the clubhouse, until he walked into the family room at Yankee Stadium, where his smiling 14-month-old son Ethan waited.
Ten minutes spent playing with Ethan was enough to change Torres’ mood, put the 0-for-4 behind him, and approach the second game with better clarity.
And while it’s a bit overboard to give Ethan credit for his dad’s two-run homer in the game that followed, a 3-0 Yankees win, being a father has impacted Gleyber Torres in more ways than he imagined.
“In the past, I’d go straight to the house and just think about a bad situation – why did I strike out, or if I make an error,’’ said Torres. “And now, with a baby, I know I have something special when I get back home.
Gleyber Torres had thought of naming his son Gleyber Jr., but Torres and his wife concluded that it might pressure him to pursue baseball.
“If he doesn’t want to play baseball, I’m good with that,’’ said Torres, who is also a tennis and basketball fan. “I would love if he plays baseball, but I’ll support him with whatever he wants to do.’’
What’s most important for Torres is “really wanting to do the right thing’’ for Ethan, “to show him to do everything in the right way.’’
And that includes getting to know his extended family in Venezuela, beginning with a planned family trip this December.
His wife, Elizabeth, gave birth during spring training of 2022, and Ethan is already toddling into the clubhouse on certain Sunday afternoons, high-fiving Torres’ teammates.
Ethan can easily recognize his dad in highlight videos, and he’s already taken some swings with a toy bat.
“In the past, I saw many teammates like (Brett) Gardner, CC (Sabathia) bring their boys (to the Stadium), and I think it’s really special,’’ said Torres, whose own father, Eusebio, gifted his son with a unique name.
Feeling at home in the Bronx
As a player, Torres spent his formative years in the Chicago Cubs system, until the July 2016 trade that brought him to the Yankees in exchange for Aroldis Chapman.
The Cubs won their elusive world championship that year. The Yankees received a player who reached the majors at age 21, and looked like a perennial All-Star until the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.
There was a failed experiment moving him from second base to shortstop, his original position, and a baffling drop in production after hitting 38 homers in 2019.
The occasional defensive lapses still occur, but Torres plays with greater ease and less stress at second base.
At 26, “I feel more mature, I’m still learning the game every day,’’ he said. “I feel like I’m more complete (as a player) right now,’’ though he is not content.
“For sure, I want to hit for power, but I want to hit .300 at some point, and be like MVP caliber,’’ Torres said. “That is the mindset for me.’’
Torres also can’t ignore hearing his name in potential trade discussions, and this winter probably won’t be any different, with one full season remaining of the Yankees controlling his contract.
“I know in two years, I’m going to be a free agent and who knows about the future,’’ Torres said. “But this is home for me and for sure, I don’t want to leave.’’