Baseball is a game that loves round numbers. Milestone totals in career hits, home runs, RBI, and on and on.
It’s in part because of baseball’s infatuation with numbers divisible by 10 that I’m writing up today’s profile of…
Jose De La Torre.
You see, I try to get to each and every player on the 40-man roster regardless of their chances at the 25-man roster. They’ve earned that, in my eyes. But in the case of De La Torre, who will be wearing #50 in Spring Training, he has about as much chance of breaking camp with the parent club this season as does Jason Rogers, which is to say a lot of people would have to drop to the injury bug.
Don’t misunderstand, De La Torre has talent and could contribute to the Brewers bullpen at some point, but with the re-acquisition of Francisco Rodriguez on Friday, there’s one less spot in the big league bullpen and other guys with MLB experience and success are in front of him.
Then again, everybody in uniform has a chance, as the old saying is paraphrased, so let’s learn more about the 5’10” right-hander who hails from Puerto Rico.
De La Torre, believe it or not, was first signed as an amateur free agent back in January of 2004 by the Milwaukee Brewers. He was released three months later and wasn’t back under contract with a MLB franchise until signing with the New York Mets in June of 2006. He spent five and a half years in the Mets system before becoming a minor league free agent. From there he signed with the Cleveland Indians in February 2012 and a trade that summer sent De La Torre to the Boston Red Sox.
Finally, in May of 2013 at the age of 27 and with his fourth organization, De La Torre made his MLB debut for Boston. He pitched in seven games and covered 11.1 innings. He was wild in his time as a Red Sox reliever, walking 10, hitting one more, en route to a 1.765 WHIP and a 6.35 ERA. He allowed two home runs as well and his ERA+ wound up at just 66.
He was designated for assignment in September of last year when Clay Buccholz was activated off of Boston’s 60-day disabled list and was awarded to the Brewers on waivers.
So why would they claim a guy who put up such rough numbers for Boston?
Well, I may have strategically waited to mention that De La Torre struck out 15 hitters in those 11.1 big league innings and has career MiLB numbers of 2.82 ERA, 1.235 WHIP, 9.4 K/9, and a much more manageable 3.7 BB/9. The skill is there with a 2.89 FIP and he posted a 3.32 SIERA for what it’s worth as well.
Stuff-wise, De La Torre features a fastball, slider and change. The fastball sits in the low 90’s and at least during his MLB innings, his change up appears to be his best secondary pitch.
This spring will be more about getting ready for the season as opposed to trying to win a job. He’s likely ticketed for Nashville but could certainly be someone called upon by manager Ron Roenicke should the need arise.
Miss anyone along the way? Catch up on the Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers profiles to this point:
- #51 Wei-Chung Wang
- #52 Jimmy Nelson
- #53 Brandon Kintzler
- #54 Michael Blazek
- #58 Ariel Peña
- #59 Zach Duke
- #60 Kevin Shackelford
- #61 Jason Rogers
- #63 Brooks Hall
- #64 Mike Fiers
- #65 Irving Falu
- #66 Robinzon Diaz
- BONUS COLUMN: #77 David Goforth, #76 Kevin Mattison, #75 Mitch Haniger, #74 Michael Olmstead, #73 Kentrail Davis, #72 Cameron Garfield, #71 Adam Weisenburger, #70 Dustin Molleken, #67 Eugenio Velez