Alex Torres (baseball)
Torres wearing a protective cap while pitching for the New York Mets in 2015
New York Mets – No. 54
December 8, 1987 |
|July 18, 2011 for the Tampa Bay Rays|
(through April 15, 2015)
|Earned run average||2.63|
Alexander Jesus Torres Matos (born December 8, 1987) is a Venezuelan professional baseball pitcher for the New York Mets of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played in MLB for the Tampa Bay Rays and San Diego Padres.
Los Angeles Angels
Torres was signed on January 12, 2005, by Los Angeles Angels scout Carlos Porte, as an international free agent, and was assigned to the Angels' Dominican Summer League affiliate that season. He spent the 2006 and 2007 seasons with the Angels' rookie-level Arizona League affiliate, as well as the beginning of the 2008 season before earning a promotion to Rancho Cucamonga in the Class A-Advanced California League.
In 2009, Torres was again assigned to Rancho Cucamonga, where he earned minor league Pitcher of the Month honors for the Angels organization in both June and July. He held a stretch of 19 consecutive scoreless innings pitched (June 9–29, 2008) and won his final 5 starts before being promoted again to Arkansas in the Double-A Texas League on July 31, 2009.
Tampa Bay Rays
On August 28, 2009, Torres was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays along with infielders Sean Rodriguez and Matthew Sweeney for pitcher Scott Kazmir, and he was assigned to Montgomery in the Double-A Southern League. Following the 2009 season, the Rays added Torres to the 40-man roster on November 19 to protect him from the Rule 5 draft. Torres started 27 games for Montgomery in 2010, posting a 3.47 ERA and 150 strike-outs in 1422⁄3 innings.
For the 2011 season, Torres was promoted to Durham in the Triple-A International League. He was promoted to the Major League for the first time on July 18, 2011. He pitched in a single game on July 18, giving up one hit and three walks in one inning, before he was returned to Triple-A. He was called up to the Rays again in September, pitching in 3 more games in relief. For the season in Triple-A, he started 27 games, had a 3.08 ERA and 156 strike-outs in 1461⁄3 innings.
Torres began 2012 as a starter for the Durham Bulls, but he struggled with control and was sent to the bullpen after 5 starts with a 10.38 ERA. He made 11 relief appearances, allowing 11 earned runs in 201⁄3 innings, and then returned to the starting rotation in mid-June. He continued to struggle in 8 more starts, allowing 24 earned runs in 24 innings, before he was placed on the disabled list and then sent to the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Rays in Port Charlotte, Florida to work with pitching coach Marty DeMerritt. Torres returned to make the final start of the year in Durham, pitching 52⁄3 scoreless innings and striking out 10. He then pitched in the winter leagues in his native Venezuela.
Torres again opened 2013 with the Triple-A Durham Bulls as he was eligible for a 4th option year after being added to the 40-man roster in 2009. He pitched to a 3.52 ERA in 9 starts in Durham in 2013.
Torres was called up the Rays in mid-May when David Price went down with an injury. He appeared in 2 games out of the bullpen, including a scoreless four-inning stint, and was sent back down to Durham. He was recalled on June 1 to add depth to the bullpen. There was discussion in June about turning Torres into a starter, but manager Joe Maddon opted to keep him in the bullpen. Torres remained with the big league club for the remainder of the season, accumulating a 1.71 ERA and 62 strike-outs in 58 innings and 39 games.
San Diego Padres
On January 22, 2014, the Rays traded Torres and Jesse Hahn to the San Diego Padres for Logan Forsythe, Brad Boxberger, Matt Andriese, Maxx Tissenbaum and Matt Lollis. Torres accumulated a 3.33 ERA over 54 innings in 70 appearances in 2014, striking out 51 and walking 33.
New York Mets
Head protection pioneer
On June 21, 2014, Torres became the first Major League Baseball pitcher to wear the isoBLOX protective cap introduced early in the year. MLB approved the product in January, nearly a year and a half after pitcher Brandon McCarthy was struck in the head by a line drive and suffered life-threatening brain injuries. Other pitchers with traumatic injuries includes Juan Nicasio, Alex Cobb and Aroldis Chapman, which led MLB to ramp up efforts to better protect pitchers. Torres hurled the eighth inning and allowed one earned run on one hit and two walks, while striking out two in the 4–2 defeat to the Los Angeles Dodgers at Petco Park.
- Watson, Matt (August 9, 2009). "Torres Named Angels' Pitcher of the Month". MiLB.com. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
- Chastain, Bill (August 29, 2009). "Rays trade Kazmir for Angels' prospects". MLB.com. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
- Chastain, Bill (September 1, 2009). "Rays get Rodriguez from Angels". MLB.com. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
- Anderson, R.J. (November 19, 2009). "Tampa Bay Rays Add Alexander Torres, Desmond Jennings, and Jeremy Hellickson to 40-Man Roster". D Rays Bay. SBNation.com. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
- "Rays promote 3 from Triple-A Durham". USA Today. July 18, 2011. Retrieved February 22, 2014.
- Kinsella, Steve (November 8, 2013). "Alex Torres Overcame Adversity To Shine In 2013". Sports Talk Florida. Retrieved February 22, 2014.
- Rancel, Tommy (June 21, 2013). "Alex Torres, the new force in Tampa pen". Sweet Spot Blog. ESPN.com. Retrieved February 22, 2014.
- Kinsella, Steve (January 3, 2013). "Tampa Bay Rays, Alex Torres, and the 4th Option Year". D Rays Bay. SBNation.com. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
- Chastain, Bill; Adam Berry (May 16, 2013). "Excelling at Triple-A, Torres called up to join 'pen". MLB.com. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
- Meisel, Zack (June 1, 2013). "Lueke sent to Triple-A; Torres called up". MLB.com. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
- Brock, Corey (January 22, 2014). "Padres land Torres, Hahn in deal with Rays". MLB.com. Retrieved March 30, 2015.
- Lin, Dennis (March 30, 2015). "Padres trade Alex Torres to Mets". U-T San Diego. Retrieved March 30, 2015.
- "A week before opener, owner Fred Wilpon addresses Mets". ESPN.com. Associated Press. March 30, 2015. Retrieved March 30, 2015.
- MLB.com – Torres the first to try out protective cap in game
- Vaughn, Rick; Costello, Chris; Molina, Carmen; Haller, Dave; Macolino, Jeff; Esterline, Will, eds. (2010). 2010 Tampa Bay Rays Media Guide. St. Petersburg, FL: Tampa Bay Rays Communications Department. pp. 172–173.
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- Alex Torres on Twitter