Carlos Torres pitched well again last night. His season ERA, in 28 2/3 innings, is 0.94.
No, the Mets don’t have the next Matt Harvey here. As previously explored in this space, Torres is outperforming his career numbers by a ton without much changing, suggesting that he’ll come back to earth in a pretty significant way. Even the current run of form is thanks to an absurd strand rate of 95.7 percent. League average is around 70 percent.
But even normalizing for that, Torres has been pitching to an FIP of 2.77 this year. Last year, when his performance came in well under his peripherals, his FIP was 3.70. So there’s roughly two seasons of data to support the idea of Torres as a useful swingman and fill-in starter.
This is a big deal. The Mets have lacked depth in the rotation for years, particularly when Plan A has gone awry. But consider that apart from Matt Harvey, they now have, under team control for next season, Dillon Gee, Jon Niese, Jeremy Hefner and Carlos Torres, all potential rotation members, or ideally, some rotation members, a long man, and some insurance when pitching injuries occur.
Then there’s Zack Wheeler, already up, Rafael Montero, likely in the mix next season, Noah Syndergaard, dominating at Double-A and on pace for a 2014 debut, and even Jenrry Mejia, who is back and will pitch on Friday.
That’s a lot of pitching inventory, and it precludes things like Chris Schwinden and Aaron Laffey starting games. It’s room for error. That’s not something the Mets have had at any position for years, and now they have it in an area where attrition is so great, extra players are a must.
By the way, this is precisely why they can’t now turn around and start dealing those arms for hitters, or they’ll be right back where they started. But it’s a definite step forward for the organization, and an important one.