Yorvit Torrealba did not register a buzz in Denver this offseason.
He did not create a reaction in the baseball industry, either.
The Rockies were happy he signed a minor-league deal with them this offseason. They had plans for him. They wanted him to be a mentor to Wilin Rosario, and they figured he would provide insurance as catcher in case Rosario struggles in that position.
All the Rockies wanted to see if Torrealba can still hit. He did in spring training, and that’s why he made the team as a backup.
The Rockies will likely grant Ramon Hernandez his release or they will trade him.
The Rockies made the right move.
Torrealba can do so many things for the Rockies.
Being a mentor to Rosario was something the front office wanted Torrealba to do.
There’s no question Rosario can hit, but if he is going to be an everyday player, he has to be a catcher. He had a rough go of it last year when he allowed 21 pass balls along with having 13 errors.
The Rockies are hoping Torrealba can help Rosario with his catching stance. They hope that will help the young catcher prevent wild pitches and creating corners for pitchers to pitch.
Most importantly, Torrealba can teach Rosario how to call a game.
Torrealba is a guy Rosario can listen to. He provides a perspective from being a catcher, and he knows how to play the game. He provides a fresh voice for a young catcher to hear.
Torrealba played well for the Rockies in his first stint. He was great with the pitchers, and he was a guy that played well during the Rocktober run in 2007.
That’s something Rosario can be drawn to when it comes to being influenced by Torrealba.
Often times, young players listen to veterans that played the game for years. Coaches can only do so much lecturing with young players.
The Rockies hope the 34-year old catcher can have an impact on Rosario. That’s why he made the team over Hernandez.
Torrealba knows his role with the team. That wasn’t going to be the case for Hernandez, who thinks he should be catching everyday.
The Rockies have lot invested in Rosario. They want him to be an everyday catcher for years to come. They don’t want to put him in another position that he may not be good at. He has the skills to be a good catcher. He needs a teammate that can teach him to play that position, and that’s why Torrealba is useful.
Torrealba has been working with Rosario all spring training, and Rosario’s improvement as a catcher has not gone unnoticed by first-year Rockies manager Walt Weiss, who talked about how his young catcher has done a good job of blocking the ball in the exhibition games.
They want Torrealba to continue to work with Rosario in the regular season, but that’s not only why he made the team.
Torrealba can still play. He can hit on occasion, and he calls a good game. He will be a good influence to some of the starters in the Rockies’ rotation.
He is a guy that can be productive when he has to play several times a week.
He does more than Hernandez at the plate, and that made the decision easy for the Rockies when it came to selecting a backup catcher.
Torrealba provides an edge that the Rockies lack. He’s not afraid to call his teammates out when he has to. He is a guy that will encourage young pitchers to pitch inside. He will work the umpires when it comes to giving pitchers pitches.
Sabermetricans can mock intangibles all they want, but it remains an integral part of the game. A team needs players with those attributes for a team to be successful.
Torrealba provided leadership during that Rocktober run, and the organization feels he can do the same thing this season. The Rockies need guys who will take charge, and that’s what he can do with the young pitchers the organization wants to build around.
Simply put, there is nothing to complain about this signing.
Torrealba won’t be the impact player that Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki are, but he is a guy that can help a ballclub when it comes to working with young pitchers and Rosario. That is something that can’t be taken lightly.
The Rockies are thankful he picked them this winter.
Torrealba’s signing went unnoticed by everyone, but for the Rockies, that signing has had an impact already based on Rosario’s improvement as catcher.
That’s why Torrealba made the team.