Text: Denver Writer on MetsBlog about Yorvit

i just hung up the phone with Troy E. Renck, who does an amazing job covering baseball and the Rockies for the Denver Post…i reached out to him in an effort to learn a bit more about free-agent C Yorvit Torrealba, who, according to Newsday, is close to agreeing on a deal with the Mets…

Renck, on Torrealba’s overall game…

“He had an opportunity to be the opening-day catcher in 2006, but he struggled.  He got in to a problem where he lifted too much in Venezuela in the off-season and he regretted it.  In the process, he lost his arm slot, and had arm problems during his first year with the Rockies, which was disappointing, but he did reveal that he’s a clutch hitter and pitchers like the way he received and called the game…During the season it became obvious that the pitching staff had an unbelievable comfort level with him…

“Torrealba’s main value is that he has passion, he has leadership qualities and he worked wonders with their pitchers.  He knew when to give them a pat on the back or a kick in the butt…

“There were some whispers that the Rockies were not totally happy with his play-calling in 2006, but not only was that not a concern in 2007, but it was considered his strength.  The team’s manager, Clint Hurdle, went out of his way on repeated occasions to talk about how he thought what a terrific job Torrealba was doing calling games.”

Renck, on Torrealba’s ability to deal with media, since, in New York, the catcher is often asked to address reporters regarding that day’s starting pitcher…

“He was very accessible to me, I had a great relationship with him and I found him to be very open, very candid and very insightful.  He didn’t try to butter everything up.  When a guy pitched poorly he explained to me why he pitched poorly without ripping him.  If he felt like he called the wrong pitches he took credit for that…

“In the playoffs he loved the attention, he gravitated towards the spotlight.  He held court at his locker at several times…Now, how he’ll deal with 10 or 15 reporters, during like what the Mets went through last year, that I don’t know.  I mean, he can be a little moody, but, to me, it’s a by-product of his passion…

“He cares deeply about winning.  So, sometimes when he gets upset, it’s not to be a jerk, it’s because he is genuinely upset and he doesn’t want to say the wrong thing, because he cares so much about winning – and I think that’s what his teammates respond so much to.”

thanks, troy…i will post the complete audio from this discussion, along with a second chat with a Rockies blogger, tomorrow on The MetsBlog Podcast…

By the way, Renck and other writers from the Denver Post will soon release A Magical Season, a book about the 2007 Rockies, who put together one of the most amazing hot streaks in baseball history to reach their first World Series ever.