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Mets: The mysterious disappearance of Alex Torres from major league games

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 14: Alex Torres #54 of the New York Mets in action against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field on June 14, 2015 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Mets defeated the Braves 10-8. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 14: Alex Torres #54 of the New York Mets in action against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field on June 14, 2015 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Mets defeated the Braves 10-8. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
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Alex Torres pitched in 39 games for the 2015 New York Mets. In his 34.1 innings of work, the lefty put together a 3.15 ERA despite some shaky numbers to suggest he may have had a much worse season.

It was Torres’ fourth year in the big leagues following parts of two seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays and one campaign with the San Diego Padres. In each big league season, Torres never finished with an ERA higher than 3.38. In 2013 with the Rays, he managed to complete the year with an incredible 1.71 ERA.

In his year with the Mets, Torres was just 27. And even though he pitched well for them, it was Torres’ last year as a major league pitcher.

Whatever happened to former Mets pitcher Alex Torres?

Torres didn’t make it through his one year with the Mets. An abundance of walks led to him being designated for assignment midseason and then reassigned to Triple-A. The Mets had an active trade deadline that year. Adding guys like Tyler Clippard and Addison Reed cleared the way for them to part with Torres from the big league roster.

He would finish the year with a rate of 6.8 walks per nine. Way more than anyone could accept, it signaled the end of his time in New York.

In July, Torres spent most of his time finishing games for New York in losses. All eight of his appearances in his final month with the team came in games where the Mets walked away as the losers. He wouldn’t get another chance and was left out of all of the fun in the latter part of the season.

When the season came to a close, Torres was released. He pitched in Triple-A for the San Francisco Giants in 2016 but never did see action at the highest level again. He would later sign on to play internationally, suiting up in Japan and Mexico in the years since.

Much like John Olerud well before him, Torres is known for something else. He was the first pitcher in MLB history to wear protective headgear full-time. It wasn’t a trend we have seen carry over in the years since.

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Torres is an example of how suddenly a relief pitcher’s career can disappear. He pitched well in his minimal number of big league innings while often flirting with danger. Unfortunately, the danger was a little too much for any other team to give him a chance again.

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