Originally Published: February 13, 2018 7:35 p.m.
PHOENIX — Left-hander Jose Torres was on the bubble for a spot in the bullpen before his arrest on domestic violence charges, San Diego Padres manager Andy Green said Tuesday.
Torres was placed on the restricted list and won’t report for spring training with pitchers and catchers on Wednesday.
The Padres said in a statement that they were aware of the allegations against Torres and are cooperating with an investigation being conducted by Commissioner Rob Manfred’s office.
Torres pleaded not guilty Jan. 9 in Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix to charges in a Dec. 29 indictment: felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon or dangerous incident and misdemeanor recklessly defacing or damaging property of another person.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that Torres was arrested after a dispute during which he’s accused of brandishing a handgun and pointing it at a domestic violence victim, knocking a door off its hinges and punching a hole in another door.
“He threw the ball well last year for us and did things to stay in bullpen contention,” Green said Tuesday at the Padres’ spring complex in nearby Peoria. “He wasn’t coming into camp with a guaranteed spot by any stretch. There will be guys competing for those spots. We still have a pretty healthy contingent of lefties, led by Brad Hand and others. We have depth, we have coverage in that area. Yes, he would have competed for a spot.”
The 24-year-old from Venezuela appeared in 62 games, going 7-4 with a 4.21 ERA. He had a strong finish, with a 1.96 ERA in his final 17 appearances.
On Monday, Green got his first look at right-hander Kazuhisa Makita, a 34-year-old submarine reliever, in an informal throwing session.
“That is a really unique look,” Green said of Makita’s delivery. “I don’t think many NL hitters are used to this and will not handle it well. He’ll be in our bullpen. We have him in a throwing progression and very similar to Brad Hand, so he will not have Cactus League action too early. As a veteran guy, we’ll slow-play him a little. He will have every opportunity to get the ball in big situations.”
In seven seasons with the Saitama Seibu Lions, Makita went 53-49 with a 2.83 ERA and 514 strikeouts. He signed a two-year contract with San Diego.
The rest of the team reports Monday and the first full-squad workout will be a day later.
The rebuilding Padres will get a good look this spring at the future double play combination of shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. and second baseman Luis Urias. Tatis, 19, and Urias, 20, are coming off solid seasons in the minors and are in the big league camp as non-roster invitees.
“These guys will play quite a bit,” Green said. “I think the expectation is there are people in front of them at the start the season with us. But, these guys will get a good look in spring training and get some opportunity. I’m excited to see them.”
Green didn’t discount the possibility that one or both could be promoted to the big league club this season.