Ernest Dove - What Should Mets Do With Pitcher Carlos Torres?


  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 ???????????????????????????????


James Preller said...

I like him as my long man, extended innings, lost causes; a veteran to take the load off Familia, Black, Mejia. He can also spot start, which is useful.

I don't think he's holding anybody back.

Sandy has to "manage" the pipeline by making decisions, by making small trades. And by not signing guys like Bartolo Colon to two-year contracts; that is, don't flush tampons down the toilet; don't clog the pipes.

Trade Gee; bring Montero into the pen; be ready to use Syndergaard or Matz when the time comes. If there's a LHP who is actually good, that's great for the pen. Maybe the Rule 5 guy from the Twins can provide that -- and maybe he becomes the new Torres. I'd love for the long man to be LH, turn the lineup around. (Though I doubt Torres has much trade value, it's still a possibility, I guess, if you think you can grab a live arm from down in somebody's system.)

Sorry, short answer: He's useful, I like him, and he's stayed healthy. In this pen, that's going to be important.

Reese Kaplan said...

He has what the Mets treasure most -- a minimum wage paycheck. Given the Little General's propensity to burn out relievers and not yet having hit the DL as a result of such abuse, I think they will definitely keep him. They are not being pushed with options yet on any of the other younger pitchers you mentioned, so it's not like a Puello/Nieuwenhuis situation of use 'em or lose 'em.

eraff said...

Torres has been incredibly productive. You cannot easily replace his versatility and the effectiveness he's provided toward Winning Games.

This is an MLB Baseball Team, NOT a Player Development Contest.

Mack Ade said...

I have nothing against him.

I just don't want him to get in the way of Montero.

Thomas Brennan said...

I'm with you, Mack, while noting that Torres has done quite well.

Don't just dump him - trade him if he is not a piece on the crowded 2015 Mets staff. 183 innings over 2 Mets years, 12-12 and 171 Ks with a sub 3.25 ERA has real value, and there have to be other teams that would want a cheap guy of his caliber.

Ernest Dove said...

My 2 cent opinion is that a playoff contending team keeps Torres (at least a couple months to see if hes still got it going) and a rebuilding team trades him, even if for just cash or some teams teenager they are willing to givee up...........which team are the Mets in 2015?

bob gregory said...

On another team, I could imagine Torres would have been used as a trade chip this off season.

Mack Ade said...

Thomas -

for reasons unexplained, the Mets currently seem incapable of trading ANY pitchers

Mack Ade said...

Ernest -

The Mets are no longer a rebuilding team. It's now or never with this crew

Ernest Dove said...

LOL im not sure a now or never franchise would of simply added a coming off injury corner OF, a bench player who only hits lefties, a minor league contact laden mix of lefty relievers, and good old (young) Wilmer as their starting shortstop ;)

Anonymous said...

Part of Torres' value is that he's there to absorb TC's abuses. That's not a nice thing to say, but I think it's true. Every pen needs a rubber-armed guy, because we certainly don't want to see fragile arms like Familia's or Mejia's get abused -- or even Montero making an adjustment to a new role.

You need to be able to send a guy out there to take a bullet. They can't all be Faberge eggs.

Lacking Don Cardwell or Dick Selma, Torres is that guy for the Mets, IMO.

James Preller

Mack's Mets © 2012