Alex Torres's Changeup

Elsa

It just might be the best changeup you've seen.

Alexander Torres arrived in Tampa Bay yesterday, to minimal fanfare, largely because the trumpeter had fallen asleep on his couch. That was wrong to do. Torres is exciting. He's been one of my favorite pitchers ever since he saved the Rays season in a relief appearance back in 2011. The following year, Torres lost all semblance of control, but after a good start this season in Durham he was back in the bigs as a spot reliever following David Price's trip to the disabled list.

What's so special about Torres? He's a little lefty with a low to mid 90s fastball that seems to jump out of his hand and that has very good movement. He's got a decent curve. But where he really stands out is with his mid 80s changeup. When I first saw him pitch back in 2011, my jaw dropped. Here, using numbers from Brooks Baseball, is a chart showing the movement of every Rays pitcher (and James Shields) with a notable changeup or splitter. It's from the catcher's perspective and I've flipped the sign to make the lefties (Torres, Price, and Moore) comparable. Click on the image to make it bigger.

Rayschangeups_medium

Torres's changeup doesn't run as much as Matt Moore's, and it doesn't drop as much as Roberto Hernandez's or Alex Cobb's, but in terms of combined horizontal and vertical movement, no changeup on the Rays staff is better. You all know how crazily Rodney's change dives down and away from left handed hitters. Torres's does the same with righties, only more.

He may not be up long. Probably he'll head back to Durham within the next few days to continue working as a starter while Jake Odorizzi fills Price's spot in the rotation, but enjoy Torres while he's here, because he's showing one of the better pitches you'll see all year.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join DRaysBay

You must be a member of DRaysBay to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at DRaysBay. You should read them.

Join DRaysBay

You must be a member of DRaysBay to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at DRaysBay. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker