The Mets have opened the season with an impressive 12-10 record. The record is a bit surprising, given that so few of the position players are swinging the bats well. Pitching is clearly fueling the early success, with the starters having posted an ERA of 1.84 over the least ten games. The bullpen has also stepped up after a rough start, and one of its most effective members has been Carlos Torres.
Sep 27, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Carlos Torres (52) pitches against the Milwaukee Brewers during the first inning of a game at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
To date in 2014, Torres has appeared in 11 games (all in relief). He has posted a 2-0 record, with a 1.38 ERA. He has struck out 16 while walking 5, and allowed 13 hits over 13 innings pitched. His WHIP stands at 1.38. Torres has assumed the 8th inning role and done so effectively, using a variety of fastballs (33%), cutters (60%), and change ups (4%).
The Mets signed Torres in November of 2012, and called him up in 2013 (when they hit a point where they had to do so or contractually lose him). Last year, Torres appeared in 33 games (9 starts), compiling a 4-6 record with a 3.44 ERA. In Torres, the Mets have a truly versatile pitcher, who can spot start, pitch in long relief, or work as a setup man.
Interestingly, Torres has been more effective this year against left-handed hitters (.222 BA against) than right-handed hitters (.281 BA against). This is in contrast to his career splits, with right-handed hitters having hit .255 against him, while left-handed hitters have hit .260 against Torres.
Before joining the Mets, Torres pitched for the White Sox (2009-2010) and the Rockies (2012), primarily in relief. Torres is 31 years old, and figures to have several good years ahead of him.
While the roles he takes on for the Mets may have him go somewhat unnoticed, Carlos Torres provides Terry Collins with multi-talented right-hander, who can pitch effectively in several capacities. While Sandy Alderson has taken some criticism for his bullpen choices, credit is due for finding Carlos Torres. Torres has been a diamond in the rough.