Torres nearing Cactus League debut
Right-hander follows Maddux's program with positive results
TUCSON, Ariz. -- Pitching coach Mike Maddux's plan for reliever Salomon Torres looks as if it's producing results.
"He's gonna throw Saturday," Maddux said of Torres. "He's going to jump in line on schedule just like every else will do -- every three days."
For Torres, that's been a welcome thought. It'll be his first appearance in a Cactus League game this spring, which he's spent the bulk of nursing soreness in his right arm. The rest has helped.
So has the throwing program that Maddux put Torres on.
"We kind of had him on a throwing program a little longer than everybody else," Maddux said Thursday.
It was a program similar to what Maddux used with reliever Francisco Cordero last Spring Training. The structured regimen, Maddux said, focused on building arm strength with less of the throwing coming in live games.
Maddux figured that approach would also work for Torres, who's had a couple of seasons in recent years where his arm has ached. As a pitcher with the reputation of a workhorse, Torres doesn't enjoy being idled.
For his career, he's been one of the most durable pitchers in baseball. He's had seasons in which he's worked in 84, 78 and 94 games. In reaching those grand totals, Torres, 36, has had to keep his right arm strong.
After a bullpen session Monday, Torres pronounced his arm as fine.
"I'm feeling really, really good," he said. "My breaking balls are very sharp; the arm speed's there; the arm strength's there. I don't have to worry about like trying to play catch-up."
Maddux isn't worried about that either. He knows that Torres is a veteran, and a veteran should know what he needs to get into Opening Day shape.
"I think a veteran player knows what he needs," Maddux said. "If he needs that less is better for him, that's fine. With some people, more is better.
"With what he's suffered through the last couple years coming out of Spring Training, maybe less was better."
Maddux stressed that one approach doesn't necessarily work for every pitcher. But he's liked the results the throwing regimen has produced for Torres, who should work one inning on Saturday.
"With him, we just did more of the walking steps before we ran," Maddux said. "I would say this, 'We kinda walked and then we jogged a long time before we're running.'We're gonna start running on Saturday."
Justice B. Hill is a senior writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.