Sunday, September 28, 2014

#666 Hector Torrez

Just like Ray Newman, identified Cub who did not play anymore with them…at this time a journeyman infielder who mostly rode the bench when not sent to the minors…Could not hit major league pitching to justify a regular gig…Come to think of it couldn’t manage minor league pitching either as evidenced by .225 career mark…Big opportunity came with Houston in 1968 as the Astro had to switch-a-ro positions because of a season ending injury to Joe Morgan …played in 128 games, got 441 at bats, but hit a unsubstantial .223… never had another chance for that much playing time… spent next two seasons shuttling between the Stro’s bench and AAA Oklahoma City…acquired by the Cubs for 1971…stayed with the Cubbies all season but was utilized even less, making 58 at bats, 7 less than when he was with the Astros in 1970…1972:  Surfaced with the Expos in the Hal Breeden deal…insignificant production as evidenced by a .155 BA…1973: back to Houston and an .091 mark (hard to believe BA almost dropped by one half from his Expo time…Mercy rule was declared for 1974 and Hector played the San Diego “we’ll resurrect anyone’s career” system…Had 7 Hrs, 47 RBIs, .259 for AAA Hawaii representing his best pro hitting figures in 9 years…Took the momentum to big club in 1975 and responded with his best MLB season, continuing to hit .259 as the Padres finally escaped the NL West basement…couldn’t repeat his modest feat in 1976 as Hector hit under .200…Included in various trades and surfaced with the expansion  Blue Jays in 1977…results were fair but Jays suffered greatly from expansion’s birthing pains…spent a brief AAA stint in 1978 before giving up playing…has managed and coached in minor since then...Finished with .216 MLB career average.

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