Torrealba trying to improve throwing
His mechanics, not shoulder pain, allow two steals Saturday
TUCSON, Ariz. -- Rockies catcher Yorvit Torrealba threw out just two of the last 32 would-be basestealers at the end of the 2007 season. It's one of the reasons controlling the running game has become a point of emphasis this spring.
Saturday afternoon suggested that improving Torrealba's throwing is still on the to-do list.
The Brewers' Rickie Weeks stole in the first inning, and Matt LaPorta stole in the third during the Rockies' 6-3 victory at Hi Corbett Field. On each steal, Torrealba's throws looked awkward and lost steam.
But Torrealba insisted he's improving. Torrealba missed most of 2006 with shoulder strains on two occasions, and as last year progressed, Torrealba regularly packed his shoulder in ice after activity.
But the ice has been noticeably absent this spring. Torrealba said, and manager Clint Hurdle concurred that Saturday's issues were caused by overanxious mechanics and not pain or lack of arm strength. While Jason Hirsh, the pitcher at the time, said he could have done a better job holding runners, Hurdle said the steals were more on Torrealba than Hirsh.
"I feel better than I actually threw today," said Torrealba, who threw out 13-of-74 [18 percent] over the full course of 2007. "My throws between innings were really good. I'm really excited about it. I'm looking forward.
"It's a challenge and I like it. It's early in the spring. I'm making adjustments. I know what I'm doing wrong. Keep in mind these are my first two throws since I don't know when, because nobody tried to steal in the playoffs."
Of his shoulder, Torrealba said, "I want to say it's 100 percent better than what it was last year. It's pain-free."
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.