Friday, April 7, 2017

A New Card And A Step Back

With Luis Torrens getting promoted to the big leagues, I bought a card of his on eBay to celebrate.

I picked up this Pure Glass red auto (numbered 2/5) from 2014 Leaf Trinity a little before word got out that he made the Padres roster out of Spring Training. It didn't cost me too much and it's a welcome addition to my collection.

The past week has been a giant mix of chaos, and the Torrens promotion didn't make the head spinning any easier.

But at the same time I'm very glad that it happened.

With Torrens' MLB promotion and his debut out of the way, now it's time to take a step back and really look at the situation.

So you've got Torrens, a very talented but still raw and young catcher who hadn't even reached high-A ball suddenly make the leap to the big leagues. What will this do to his overall development?

Now getting experience is always good, and Torrens is getting his first taste of big league action. But going from hitting against single-A pitchers in Charleston to bonafide major leaguers is quite a gap. Dodger fans may disagree but Chris Hatcher (who I'm using as an example because he's the first pitcher Torrens faced in the big leagues) is better than single-A pitchers. Around high-A is when some of the pitcher deemed less promising start getting cut, and the general rule is that really good lefties tend to move up the minors quickly. As much as I think Torrens can do amazing things, I wonder how he's going to make adjustments and learn offensively with this time on a big league roster.

There's also the fact that he's not going to be playing everyday. If he were still in the Yankees org I'd assume that he'd be the everyday catcher for the high-A Tampa Yankees, getting consistent at-bats, and improving his defense behind the plate. Torrens will, for the most part, be on the bench while Austin Hedges and Hector Sanchez get most of the catching reps, that's not optimal. His arm is a cannon and his blocking ability draws great praise but there's no risk in having him polish it up even further.

Assume, for all intensive purposes, Torrens stays with the Padres beyond this year because he either stayed on their 25-man all season long or because the Padres send back something to the Yankees to keep Torrens. What then?

Well I'd assume Torrens will see that his playing time in 2018 will be spent in double-A, depending on how he fares this year I guess. He should have at least three minor league options (note, the whole concept of options still confuses me, so I'm just assuming that based on how little his overall service time has been to this point). Meaning he should be still good for three more stints in the minors. Will that be enough time for him to develop? Heck if I know. I was originally planning a trip to Trenton in 2019 to see Torrens and Blake Rutherford in the double-a All Star Game, I wasn't ready for this.

So to wrap it up.

Short Term: Luis Torrens is a big leaguer and it's awesome
Long Term: How this affects Torrens' development remains to be seen

I'd be lying if I said I'm not worried, but if nothing else, I'm just glad that Torrens didn't have to go through the weird prospect limbo treatment that he would've gotten in New York (just look at what's happening to their prospects) before making his debut. But I'm hoping that 2017 is just the start of something bigger for down the line in the Torrens story arc.

Here's a better pic of the Torrens pure glass autograph, in a magnetic holder (it looks so good in there). Byotiful.

As always thanks for stopping by.


  1. I love the glass autos. I have a couple Pirate versions in my collection.

    The Torrens/Padres situation is unique. The Rule 5 stuff was put in place for minor leaguers who get caught in the shuffle of loaded minor league systems. It is odd to see a guy get taken who hasn't experienced the upper rungs of professional ball. The good thing is the Padres are going to be bad which in theory would give him the opportunity to play. The big question is how are the Padres going to divide the playing time.

    1. Well Hedges is still a work in progress so we'll have to see what happens. On the bright side, Torrens has now had his first career start and his first career walk.

  2. Good points. Will be very interesting to see what happens as the season goes on. I hadn't thought of the possibility of him sticking it out this year then playing every day in the minors next year.

    It's also ridiculous that a major league team can even entertain ideas like this.

    1. Yeah I think it's kinda odd too, but fun.

  3. That Leaf Trinity PURE set is great. I think I have three or four cards from that one and I love them all.

    1. Indeed, these cards look really nice.

  4. Just a note to keep in mind about Torrens's leap to the Big Leagues: Robin Yount jumped directly from short-season A-ball to the majors and never went back. Paul Molitor played college ball for three years, went to the Midwest League, then in 1978 debuted with Milwaukee -- and never went back. Bob Horner was drafted out of Arizona State in 1978 and never played a day in the minors before going to the majors.

    If Torrens shows he belongs this year, there's little reason to send him back to the minor leagues, and the jump is not unprecedented. As long as he plays enough -- say 100-120 games -- he could show he belongs.

    Of course, those guys are Hall of Famers, but Torrens is on a bad baseball team looking for their next generation of good players. He can do it.

    1. Horner isn't an HOFer, of course. Just like anyone, Torrens has to stay healthy to have a good career.

    2. Good points, it all hinges on performance and health I agree. I'm just not sure showing both on a bad team will merit much in the short term. At least not yet.