Every time I read about how great our bullpen is, it’s amazing how often Carlos Torres and the job he did last year is ignored and never mentioned. Isn’t he just as important to us as Familia and Mejia? How many long relievers are better?
Carlos Torres is certainly appreciated within the organization, but I agree he’s not making national headlines and his numbers would suggest he should be. Torres has quietly provided that insurance arm out of the bullpen who can go long, serve as a specialist or close out games when the regular guy needs a night off. In the two years he has pitched as a reliever for the Mets, Torres has appeared in 96 games and pitched a total of 128.2 innings. His 2.73 ERA and 8.04 K’s per nine innings are impressive during that stretch and certainly proved the difference in a number of victories.
During the transition period for the Mets bullpen this season, the team let go of veterans like Kyle Farnsworth and Jose Valverde in lieu of the future which included Vic Black, Jeurys Familia and Jenrry Mejia. Critics argued that Torres was used too much during that time, but Terry Collins often had very few reliable options, which forced his hand in an effort to keep the team in games. Thankfully, the youngsters emerged and Torres was able to pitch through to the end of the year, healthy.
You can’t blame Collins for his dependence on Torres, considering how often he could induce that much needed double play ball (13 DP in 2014) and bear down with runners on base (25.5 K/9 with runners on base).
The best part compared to his performance is his cost. Torres made slightly above the league minimum this season and should remain relatively cost effective heading into 2015 which will help the team stay flexible in case other needs arise.
Many of his peers are hard throwers and those players will always garner more attention because they’re more exciting to watch, but Torres has quietly filled the many roles the team has asked him to and done so with a lot of success. Now, if only the Mets could find a lefty reliever as talented and as cheap as Carlos Torres, than we’d be in business.