Torres shows rust, talent in San Diego debut

Torres shows rust, talent in San Diego debut

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Making his Padres debut Thursday against the Rangers, left-hander Alex Torres battled through some rust and command issues but showed glimpses of how electric his stuff can be when he's right.

Torres, acquired from the Rays in January, allowed three hits, walked two batters and struck out a pair in 2/3 of an inning. He left the game with the bases loaded and Dennis O'Grady served up a grand slam moments later to leave Torres charged with five earned runs.

"We saw the live arm," Padres manager Bud Black said of Torres. "I think he was a little bit out of sorts, it has been a sped up process for him but you can tell this guy has a good arm. You can see where he's had the success with Tampa the last couple years."

The 26-year-old arrived to Padres camp last week after missing the first 12 days of workouts with visa issues in his native Venezuela stemming from a change of employers. He appeared in 39 games for the Rays in 2013, striking out 62 batters and compiling a miniscule 1.71 ERA in 58 innings.

On Thursday, Torres threw 34 pitches, 18 for strikes. He struck out J.P. Arencibia swinging on a disappearing 83-mph changeup in the dirt and Leonys Martin looking with a 92-mph fastball at the knees.

The Rangers did their damage off him courtesy of a Prince Fielder double followed by consecutive singles from Michael Choice and Kevin Kouzmanoff before he walked the final two batters he faced later in the frame.

"I feel OK but it was a tough day, just a bad outing," Torres said. "You have to continue to work it out. I haven't seen a hitter in months so I just felt a little bit tight. Didn't throw the ball for strikes and that's what happens."

Expected to handle a late-inning role in the bullpen this season for the Padres, Torres will return to Cactus League action in the next two or three days.

Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.