Posted by Ernest Dove at 10:00 AM
With all the talk shortstops, pitching prospects, Harvey's return, corner outfielders, Wright's health and the next LOOGY/full inning lefty option, it seems like there is one random (and steady) guy who hasn't been mentioned much in the past two seasons he has contributed to this ball club. His name is Carlos Torres. Amongst all the recent hoopla surrounding Harvey, Wheeler, Montero, and now Syndergaard and Matz, there was also a 29 year old in the system that the Mets made full effort to protect from other clubs possible efforts to snatch him up and not pass through any kind of waivers.
I don't know why, but it seems like old Carlos has been around for a decade with the Mets. Maybe it seems that way because Terry Collins pretty much has called his name each and every game since he joined the team. In reality, Mr. Torres will/would only be entering his 3rd season with the Mets for the 2015 year. And despite all the high profile talent, and one year contracts that have come this teams way for 2 years, Torres had remained, pitching, and pitching and pitching.
After popping his cherry in the majors at age 26 with the White Sox in 2009, mostly as a starter, he was quickly moved full time to the bullpen in 2010, and continued on in that role with the Rockies in 2012. Then he found himself in the Mets organization, where he hovered around Sin City up until he got the call in 2013 for the Mets. Torres did manage to start 9 games in 2013, but 2014 brought all kinds of additional solid pitching overall, and so his spot starts were diminished (especially with Dice K apparently needing those starts to stay happy and less confused.... or maybe more confused).
Anyway, in comes the 2015 season. Harvey is coming back. Parnell is coming back. Familia is a stud, Mejia is now a reliever, Black is panning out, and the young arms just keep on coming. So, what do the Mets now do with Torres this coming season?
Do they keep him on the 25 man? Again, as I said, the man can be relied upon to take the ball every day, all day, and twice on Sunday (Let's play two). And, if you check out the stats, he's pretty much had career highs in every category there is, during his still short major league career, all with the Mets the past two years. And with young guys like Mejia and mostly wheeler often going only 5 innings during their starts, it was Torres who mostly would take on extra innings to get this team to the 8th or 9th. Talk about a LIVE arm, how about a rubber arm ( I still miss that old guy who signed with the Rockies as their closer).
Do they trade him? What can you really get for a solid 32 year old middle reliever who doesn't have a high 90s fastball, but still comes cheap (my two second research shows finally just being arb eligible in 2016). Can they get a teams top 25 low minors prospect, maybe? Do you simply do the old, traded-for-cash-considerations with a guy you've overworked and counted on for 2 years? Or can he packaged in with some top prospect to a team looking for youth, but also a rubber arm to secure their bullpen for the upcoming season?
Do you simply release him, in favor of Montero, Mazzoni or any other list of the hot young arms currently in the upper system of the organization, and let some team snatch him up (again, rubber arm, security).
My personal opinion is that Carlos Torres has been a blessing to this organization. He's come in, pretty much pitched every day, and he publicly proclaims himself ready to go the next day, and the next, and the next. And he's not just some innings eater with a terrible ERA. In over 100+ innings as a Met, his ERA is below 3.50, which seems pretty solid and consistent to me, especially for a guy who often has been counted on to pitch one, two, and even three innings per outing.
However, life is life, baseball is baseball. It will always equally be a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately and up-and-coming-star away from losing your job type of atmosphere.
Maybe the Mets go with two lefties in the pen. Maybe they go with 6 right handers. Maybe somebody holds a spot only until Parnell shows up. Maybe somebody's role is specifically to eat multiple inning every 5 days to piggy back Harvey Day (hey, isn't that what Torres seems to specialize in?) Or maybe the Mets add to the youth movement by creating roster spots for Montero, Mazzoni, heck even guys named Pill, Bowman, Gorski, etc. etc. etc.
Arms are aplenty. But this team keeps talking about playoffs. You can't keep holding back talent. You also can't minimize veteran accountability (and a rubber arm).
What say you Mack's Mets ???????????????????????????????