Alex Torres Shows Stuff in Prolonged Outing | The Process Report

Alex Torres Shows Stuff in Prolonged Outing

Before Jake Odorrizi’s Monday start, another member of the well-regarded Durham rotation made a notable appearance for the Rays over the weekend.

Alex Torres’ second outing for the Rays this season lasted longer and burned brighter than his first—a five-pitch, one-out clean-up job against the Red Sox nights earlier. On Saturday Torres pitched four innings of no-hit ball, keeping the Rays in the game and enabling their eventual come-from-behind victory. The prolonged appearance gave Torres the chance to show off the tweaks in his game he worked on last year during his exile to the Gulf Coast League.

One of the noticeable changes is a quickened pace on the mound—Torres seemed to hop back on the rubber after delivering the pitch. The hastening carried over to his mechanics. Torres simplified his delivery with fewer moving parts and a change in leg lift, glove positioning, rubber placement (he moved toward the first-base side) and trigger. Add it all up and Torres shows smoother actions. The changes should positively impact Torres’ balance, as in the past he almost leaned back during his motion.

When Torres delivered his pitches they still featured plenty of movement. Though he replaced his curveball with a slider, he favored his changeup as his almost-exclusive secondary pitch of choice. In fact Torres threw more changeups during his outing than fastballs. There were some negatives to take away from his outing. He still showed questionable command of his pitches, with his changeup catching too much air at times. It’s also perhaps worth noting Torres’ velocity was down a tick from 2011; that could be intentionally, however, as he showed improved control of his fastball.

Torres’ future with the Rays is unclear. The small southpaw is out of options starting next season, so he’ll be on the Rays or some other team’s opening day roster barring another meltdown. Given the durability and location issues surrounding Torres, as well as the Rays’ starting pitching depth, it’s possible the Venezuelan native finds a home in relief.  Torres should succeed in the role if Saturday’s appearance is any indication.

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