06/14/08 6:41 PM ET
Torrealba to end suspension appeal
Catcher to sit out two games for role in incident with Kemp
By Thomas Harding / MLB.com
Torrealba revealed on Saturday that he has had his suspension for his June 3 fracas with the Dodgers' Matt Kemp reduced from three games to two. Although he wanted to push for another game's leniency, he has ended the process and will sit out on Sunday and Monday. Kemp's suspension was reduced from four games to two.
The Rockies called up catcher Edwin Bellorin from Triple-A Colorado Springs to take Torrealba's place during the suspension.
"I don't think it's fair, but what can I do?" Torrealba said.
Torrealba was in the lineup for Saturday's game against the White Sox. After handling most of the catching duties for the Rockies last season, Torrealba has seen his playing time reduced because of his slow offensive start and the early surge by Chris Iannetta, who is hitting .278 with six home runs and 21 RBIs.
Saturday's start was the third start in nine games for Torrealba, who is hitting. 232 with two homers and 17 RBIs. On Thursday, after going five days with only one at-bat, Torrealba went 3-for-5 with a double and two RBIs in a 10-7 loss to the Giants.
"I just keep doing my work in the cage, with 'Ace' [hitting coach Alan Cockrell], keep doing my running and stay loose and stay ready," Torrealba said. "Whenever the manager feels like he's going to play me, I don't want to be surprised. I feel better, even though I haven't played a lot. I'm having better quality at-bats, better swings. Hopefully, I can just stay consistent and get my swing going."
The Rockies aren't winning. Because of injuries and slumps, manager Clint Hurdle's making of the lineup card has become a juggling act -- of names on the scorecard and the desires of the players.
"What has Chris done to detract from his playing time now?" Hurdle said. "Yorvit went out and had a good game [on Thursday]. It was well-needed and good for him. It was something he can build upon, because we're going to need him to play as we move forward on this thing.
"If we can piggyback them, so be it. If somebody just takes off and makes it a no-brainer for me, which sometimes I need because I'm short on brains, a no-brainer is always good."
Torrealba's season has become one big message that he doesn't control everything. During the offseason, he signed a three-year, $14.4 million contract with the Mets, only to have the Mets back out because of concerns over a right shoulder that had given Torrealba trouble the previous two years. Torrealba, through his agents, has filed a grievance against the Mets, but he has said little beside the fact that it's in other hands.
Torrealba, under a two-year, $7.5 million deal with the Rockies, could come up in trade discussions if Iannetta continues as the No. 1 catcher. Torrealba said he has not asked out of Colorado and is concentrating on his skills.
"The only reason I'm handling it OK is I've got no choice," Torrealba said. "I have to handle it. Last year, Chris wasn't hitting too good and I was doing more of the catching. This year, basically almost at the same time I started to play every day last year, he started playing more.
"I'm really happy for him that he's been confident and gotten offense going. I'm not looking to get out of here. I cannot control putting myself in the lineup. I cannot control if, one day, they want to trade me. All I can do is play my game, call a good game and hopefully get a couple of hits."
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.