Imagine that you’re working on something and you need a hammer, so, you go grab a hammer. But then you need a wrench, you’ve got to get it out of the toolbox. Wait, wait, you actually need a screwdriver, fine, get the damn tool you need. But what if you could have all the tools in one?
No, you don’t have to call within the next 10 minutes. This isn’t paid programming. This is Salomón Torres — an all-in-one tool set — a Swiss Army knife with which to slit your throat. And you’re totally going to love him.
Because he came here for the sausages.
If there were a race for MVP of the Brewers so far, the frontrunners would be the established stars: Ryan Braun and Ben Sheets. But the dark horse — the “Obama,” if you will — would be Salomón Torres…. wait, what?
The Domincan-born savior of the Brewers bullpen, has recorded 7 saves with a fantastic 2.68 ERA since Éric Serge Gagné hurt his poor shoulder (Ed.— I loves me some Dominicans). Torres has been used as an all-in-one pitcher by a few teams around the league before landing in Yost’s toolbox, however, he hasn’t seen quite the same success as he has in Brew City.
King Salomón began in the Giants farm system. After 3 years of playing lights out, he got the call in 1993. He began his career as a starter who won his first start that he pitched for the Giants, and he won his second start with 8 shut out innings. He is known to Giants fans as the pitcher who ruined their ’93 playoff hopes when started the last game of the season and gave up 3 runs in three-and-one-third innings. This loss kept the 103-win Giants from tying the 104-win Braves in the NL West. Torres is still heckled and booed when he visits San Francisco even though he has asked the fans to please move on something that was 15 years ago. (In fact, in the very research for this post, a Giants fan wrote “Thanks for ruining ’93, Torres!”)
After rough outings in the Mariners’ and Expos’ bullpens, Torres decided that the MLB was not for him and he returned to the D.R. and coached for the Expos Dominican League (raise your hand if you knew such a league existed). He returned with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2002 splitting his duties between starting and relief. The most noteworthy part of this run for Torres — other than solid numbers, and killing the Brewers along with Jason Kendall — was that he made himself the possible reason for the decline of the career of fellow Dominican and hometown boyhood acquaintance, Sammy Sosa. In April of 2003, an uncontrolled Torres fastball hit Sosa in the head and shattered his batting helmet.
Torres was placed exclusively in the bullpen and moved into the set-up man role for the Pirates in 2006, the year he led the major leagues with 94 appearances. After the Pirates closer was traded, Torres was sent in to close for the Pirates in ’07. After blowing 4 saves, he was demoted back to being middle reliever (Torres was demoted after blowing 4 saves and Yost still encouraged Gagné to close after 5 blown until he got injured?).
Torres was on the pirates — with Kendall, and Jeff Suppan — when Randall Simon whacked the Italian sausage, causing her to roll into the Hot Dog. When he told his wife and kids he was traded to Milwaukee, the girls went crazy. Besides saving the Crew, Torres is apparently a devout Jehovah’s witness and has opened his own baseball academy in his hometown.
As for nicknames, I don’t think you’re going to get much better than King Salomón… “Slammin’ in Forays?”