Carlos Torres is a Player Who Needs to be Promoted. Another good performance tonight for Charlotte simply reinforces that Torres has nothing left to prove in the minors and also deserves more than a bullet point at the bottom of TWIWSMiLB.
By no means is Torres a good prospect. He took an extremely slow path up the organizational ladder, which explains why he's 27 years old and only just repeating AAA. He was shifted back and forth between starting and relieving and has settled into a starting role for the Knights with a season line of: 72.1 IP, 56 H, 27 BB, 73 K. He relies on a low 90s fastball with some sink and a nice cutter, which he uses against lefties. He has a passable changeup and a curveball that, when he's on, is a plus pitch with some wicked movement. As we experienced last season when he was with the White Sox, Torres often depends upon hitters chasing pitches out of the zone and that's something major league hitters are less prone to do, particularly when a pitcher, like Torres, has less than pinpoint command. Also as we experienced, particularly in his September 8 start against Oakland last year in which he retired just two batters, when his curveball is bad, he gets lit up. His approach leads to high pitch counts early in games and he lacks the stamina to retain his stuff as the pitches pile up, essentially relegating him to a bullpen role at the major league level.
So after all that, now you're asking, why should he be on the White Sox?
Simply put, he's better than Randy Williams. Williams' existence on the active roster is based solely on the fact that he throws with his left hand and Ozzie Guillen absolutely needs to have two lefties in his bullpen. Nevermind that Williams is not this season - nor has he ever been - particularly good at getting left-handers out at the major league level. Here is the list of current White Sox relievers who have done a better job: Bobby Jenks, Scott Linebrink, J.J. Putz, Sergio Santos and Matt Thornton. Ozzie could pick to face a lefty any of his relievers other than Tony Pena and expect a better result. Oh, and no one else gets lit up by righties to a near 1.000 OPS like Williams does.
There are few less meaningful roster moves than dumping your 12th pitcher, even if the replacement is probably better. But from a PR perspective, it would at least show White Sox fans that someone in the front office is actually paying attention to the poor product they keep putting out on the field and that maybe there actually are consequences for not being good at your job. And replacing him with Torres would also show that the White Sox do not fill out their roster pursuant to a rote formula based on attributes (fast guy to lead off? check. two left-handers for the bullpen? check...) and actually look at performance when making roster decisions. Regardless of his pitching hand, Torres makes the White Sox better. Do the right thing, Kenny.