Jose De La Torre shows he is in hunt for more permanent reliever role
|07.23.13 at 1:01 am ET|
With the Red Sox close to the trade deadline and Andrew Miller and Andrew Bailey out for the rest of the season with injuries, the expectation is that the Red Sox will try to acquire a reliable relief pitcher to stabilize their bullpen as they make a push for the playoffs. However, Drake Britton and Pedro Beato both let Red Sox management know that they are ready to contribute when they each pitched a scoreless extra inning to help the Red Sox top the Yankees 8-7 Sunday night.
They are not the only youngsters making a name for themselves though, as rookie Jose De La Torre followed suit with what Britton and Beato in Monday night’s loss to the Rays.
De La Torre only allowed one run while striking out three in 2 2/3 innings of relief Monday, and kept the Red Sox close with the Rays until the very end of the game.
“He is another young guy who is learning each time he goes to the mound, but tonight was probably the most impressive outing he has had for us,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “His ability to attack the strike zone got some early outs and gave us two-plus innings of much needed relief.”
The performance was an important one for the Red Sox, even if they did not come back to at least tie the game. De La Torre chewed up nearly the rest of the game after starter Brandon Workman left the game after six innings, giving the bullpen a necessary rest.
De La Torre was the only member of the bullpen not used in Sunday night’s win over the Yankees. So when he took the mound Monday night, finishing the game without another reliever having to pitch was a goal for him.
“In my head I was just — ‘Finish the game, I can do it,’” De La Torre said. “I got two outs in the ninth. I just wanted to finish the game and give those guys a rest because they have been pitching a lot lately.”
Perhaps some of the success De La Torre had in the outing stemmed from his experience with facing the Rays lineup. In his five outings at the major league level, De La Torre has faced the Rays three times, allowing two runs on three hits through seven innings while striking out eight.
The 27-year-old first made an impression in the World Baseball Classic this past spring, when he struck out 12 batters through 5 2/3 innings while pitching for Puerto Rico. He kept that success going into his time with Triple-A Pawtucket this year, where he has a 1.74 ERA with 49 strikeouts through 41 1/3 innings pitched.
De La Torre said he is feeling more comfortable on the mound with each major league appearance. That is good news for the Red Sox, who have several internal options at relief pitcher — including De La Torre, Britton, Beato, Steven Wright, and Rubby De La Rosa. That type of pitching depth is a testament to the quality of the Red Sox scouting department according to Beato.
“Obviously the scouting department here has done a great job of drafting a lot of great players, and it shows,” Beato said. “It shows with the guys who are growing up here and the guys they are getting externally… We just can control what we can and just get people out. After all this is said and done this is up to the front office to decide what they are going to do.”
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