Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Two Tampa Bay Rays prospects experience whirlwind day en route to major-league debuts

ST. PETERSBURG — Left-hander Alex Torres woke up Monday morning in Rochester, N.Y., expecting to be pitching for Triple-A Durham.

He had answered the call the night before when his roommate with the Bulls, catcher Robinson Chirinos, got his first big-league call-up. At around 8 a.m. Monday, Chirinos answered when Torres got his.

"It was crazy," Torres said.

It got wilder. In a whirlwind 24 hours, Torres and Chirinos took two flights before arriving at Tropicana Field an hour before the showdown with the Yankees.

Both played key roles in their big-league debuts. Chirinos started behind the plate in the 5-4 loss and got his first career hit. Torres, 23, picked up the loss, allowing a run on three walks (one intentional) before getting optioned back to Durham.

Torres took the experience in stride — the Rays sent him down to bring up a fresh arm for a depleted bullpen — with manager Joe Maddon saying "he's got a great future with us."

"I was ready to pitch today, but everything happens too fast," Torres, of Venezuela, said through an interpreter. "The traveling, and all that stuff. But I was ready."

Chirinos, called up to replace Jose Lobaton (who sprained his left MCL in Sunday's game), didn't know he was starting until around 5 p.m., when he landed in Tampa and received a text message from his sister, Rusmery, who saw the news online.

"I think everything was so quick, there was no time to get nervous," Chirinos said.

Chirinos, 27, a 10-year-minor league veteran who impressed in spring training after being acquired in the Matt Garza trade with the Cubs, went over scouting reports once he got to the Trop and didn't waste any time his first trip to the plate. On the first pitch Chirinos saw from Yankees starter A.J. Burnett, he ripped a double to centerfield.

When asked why he started Chirinos, Maddon quipped before the game it was "American Legion Night," and that he likes to throw young players into the fire.

"It was amazing," Chirinos said. "From the very first pitch."

Joe Smith can be reached at joesmith@sptimes.com.

Two Tampa Bay Rays prospects experience whirlwind day en route to major-league debuts 07/18/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 19, 2011 12:34am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Alex Faedo, Florida advance to face LSU in College World Series finals

    College

    OMAHA, Neb. — Alex Faedo pitched three-hit ball for 71/3 innings in a second straight strong performance against TCU, and Florida moved to the College World Series finals with a 3-0 win Saturday night.

    Florida’s Austin Langworthy scores on a single by Mike Rivera in the second inning during a 3-0 victory over TCU.
  2. Jones: Bucs need success to get national respect

    Bucs

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents on the world of sports.

    No respect

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  3. Rays journal: Jumbo Diaz falters after getting within a strike of ending rally

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday's game got away starting with a leadoff walk in the seventh inning by Rays LHP Jose Alvarado, who was brought in exclusively to face Baltimore's lefty-swinging Seth Smith.

    Rays reliever Jumbo Diaz wipes his face as he walks off the mound after the Orioles score four during the seventh inning to give them a 7-3 lead. Diaz was one strike away from working out of the jam before he allowed a two-run double and a two-run homer on back-to-back pitches.
  4. Rookie Jake Faria dissatisfied with performance in Rays' loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The rookie pitcher walked to his locker Saturday after tossing the fourth quality start in as many tries to begin his career. He held the potent Orioles bats to three runs and for six innings gave his team a chance to win.

    Orioles third baseman Manny Machado tags out the Rays’ Mallex Smith at third after a rundown in the first inning.
  5. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    It was refreshing to see RHP Jacob Faria take the blame after the loss even though he gave the Rays a chance to win. Too often young pitchers are encouraged by what they did and not necessarily the outcome, but Faria, making just his fourth big-league start, came to the Trop to win, didn't, and pointed the finger …