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Gleyber Torres upbeat after reassignment, will be ready for the next opportunity

TAMPA -- Gleyber Torres was optioned to Triple-A and reassigned to Yankees Minor League camp on Tuesday, officially taking him out of the running for the Opening Day second base job.

That writing may have been on the wall the minute the Yankees signed Neil Walker on Monday, but even without that addition, Torres didn't necessarily help his cause this spring. He looked, and admitted he felt, a bit rusty, which is to be expected after undergoing Tommy John surgery on his left elbow and missing the second half of last season.

"My first few at-bats, my timing was off and I felt a little uncomfortable, but I kept working on that," Torres admitted after being optioned. "It's not easy to miss nine months and come back perfect, but I just tried to keep working, stayed within my approach and played my game."

Torres hit just .160 in 11 games this spring, knocking four hits in 25 at-bats, but both he and manager Aaron Boone saw some positives within that sample.

"All spring, he's hit some balls hard that he hasn't gotten any love for," Boone said Tuesday, with Torres simply adding this when asked if his at-bats felt better than the results: "Yeah, for sure."

Torres said, though, that he never felt any pressure within the fact that he was trying to go from top prospect to starting second baseman, and never put any pressure to do that on himself.

"I just wanted to stay focused on doing my job and trying to help the team however I could, and we'd see what happened," he said. "So no, that wasn't my mentality, and I didn't put any pressure on myself like that."

He's out of the mix for now, but Boone sees brighter days ahead sooner rather than later.

"For me, it's just Gleyber playing and getting the reps, and he'll be fine," Boone said. "He's really good, and it won't be too long until it clicks."

For what it's worth, Torres completely understands.

"It's the team's decision and I can't control it," Torres said. "I just have to stay humble, stay focused, and be ready for another opportunity."

And, that was pretty much the message he got from Boone and general manager Brian Cashman when told of his spring fate.

"They told me that I need more at-bats and more games," Torres said, "and told me to just stay focused and be ready when the next opportunity comes."