Earlier today it was announced that the Milwaukee Brewers were awarded the waiver claim for RHP Jose De La Torre, late of the Boston Red Sox. The Sawx, as I lovingly refer to them, had to open a spot on their 40-man roster for the return of starter Clay Buchholz from the 60-day Disabled List. De La Torre was the player chosen and the Brewers submitted the winning claim.
Let’s learn a little bit about the newest employee of Mark Attanasio.
Jose De La Torre is a 5’10”, right-handed pitcher. Should it ever matter, he bats from the right side as well. De La Torre turns 28 years old next month and is originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico. As you already know if you follow me on Twitter…
Fun fact: De La Torre was originally signed by the #Brewers as an amateur free agent out of Puerto Rico back in 2004.
— The Brewer Nation (@BrewerNation) September 13, 2013
He was 18 years old at the time. He also wasn’t a Brewers farmhand for very long as he was released on April 29th of that same year. He caught on in 2006 with the New York Mets and pitched with them until 2011 when he became a minor league free agent. From there it was a free agent contract with Cleveland and a trade the next season that got him into Boston’s system.
He made his Major League debut finally on May 12, 2013 for Boston and has been up and down a couple of times this year. It’s his first year on a 40-man roster so he does have two minor league option years remaining after this one.
De La Torre throws his fastballs in the low 90s but has been a strikeout pitcher during his time in pro ball to this point. For Boston this year in the majors he struck out 15 in 11.1 IP and in the minors he has piled up 410 strikeouts in 392.0 IP. Only once in a full season of pitching has he finished with a K/9 below 9.0, and that was back in 2007 for the St. Lucie Mets, New York’s High-A affiliate.
Besides reportedly throwing both a four- and two-seam fastball, De La Torre’s arsenal includes a slider and change up. All of his fastball velo was within the 91-92 range. His slider clocks in at just 83 MPH on average with the change up sitting at 85 MPH. (All pitch velocities are courtesy of FanGraphs.)
The Brewers officially optioned De La Torre to their rookie ball affiliate Helena following the successful claim, but a report from Adam McCalvy said…
De La Torre to Helena is just a paper move, I’m told. He won’t pitch there. #Brewers
— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) September 13, 2013
Still, De La Torre is an intriguing option for the 2014 bullpen when at least one job will be up for grabs at Maryvale Baseball Park. As mentioned earlier, he’ll report to Spring Training at age 28 and while he’s hardly a spring chicken by baseball standards, the Brewers have had success with older journeyman type relievers and getting some good use out of their arms. Hopefully history can repeat itself to that end as De La Torre is still pre-arbitration and would be under team control through the 2018 season.
Low risk, potential reward. Can’t faultmoves like that.
…at least not anytime soon.