Rays Roundup: Alex Torres’ Increased Role, Alex Colome to Start, David Price’s Rehab Start

By Robbie Knopf

Rays fans have seen Alex Torres dominate for weeks now out of the bullpen and wondered why he has only been pitching in long relief. Now, that is about to change. Joe Maddon told Mark Topkin that Torres has emerged as one of the relievers he is going to trust in high-leverage situations in close games.

"“It’s all about leveraged moments and he’s just indicated to us he can get good hitters out in tight moments, and I don’t think it’s a stretch right now to put him out there,” Maddon said."

It was only a matter of time before Torres’ performance got its due, and after just how good he has been, Torres could emerge as a key late-inning arm for the Rays. Torres and his ability to work multiple innings could be useful to help Joel Peralta get some days off after he has been overused so far this season, and alternatively, Torres could be a fireman whenever there’s a jam while Jake McGee, Peralta, and Fernando Rodney stay primarily in the 7th, 8th, and 9th innings. With his electric fastball-changeup combination, Torres has blown away hitters time after time. Let’s see how good he can be appearing in games at the critical moments.

With an off-day tomorrow, the Rays had options for their Friday start, with Alex Colome, Jake Odorizzi, and Chris Archer all available. The Rays have decided to let Colome make his third MLB start, with Odorizzi staying at Triple-A and the rest of the rotation moving back a day. This is a major vote of confidence from the Rays to Colome after he lasted just 4.1 innings in his last start, and you have to hope that he can seize the opportunity. With David Price getting ready to return, this will be a key start for Colome that could end up determining whether he stays in the major leagues.

Speaking of Price, he will make his second rehab start tonight at High-A Charlotte beginning at 6:30 PM. Price is expected to throw 70 pitches and could be in line to start next week against the Astros if everything goes well. It’s exciting that Price is finally getting ready to come back, and Price returning may be exactly what the Rays need to stabilize their rotaiton.