Torres spent part of his "vacation" in the Dominican Republic as a coach for the Expos' summer-league affiliate and as a winter-ball pitcher. In January, Pittsburgh G.M. Dave Littlefield, a former Expos player-development director, signed him to a minor league deal.
Torres made a strong bid for a major league job by not allowing a run in two spring training games. His velocity was down, but he had good command and delivered his pitches at several arm angles. The Pirates started him at Triple A Nashville, where he went 8-5 with a 3.83 ERA in 26 games (24 starts).
Depending on how he pitches for the rest of the season and next spring—in his second start on Monday, Torres gave up five runs in four innings—he could be part of Pittsburgh's 2003 rotation. "I didn't want to be 40 years old and bitten" he says. "I didn't want to think I'd wasted my talent all those years."
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