Friday April 16, 2010

Matt Torra is one step closer to his ultimate goal of becoming a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Torra, who made one start for Class AA Mobile this week, has been called up to Class AAA Reno of the Pacific Coast League. He will start in the Aces' game Saturday against Sacramento.

"I'm hoping this is a permanent assignment," Torra said in a phone interview on Thursday. "They had to make a move in the big leagues to five starters, so they called somebody up and I'm replacing that guy in Triple A."

Torra pitched the third game of the opening series at Montgomery and came out of it with five shutout innings and no decision.

The former University of Massachusetts standout scattered six hits and two walks, striking out four. He threw 86 pitches and had 57 strikes. He faced 23 batters, got eight on ground outs and three via the fly ball.

"I know things might change when Brandon Webb finally comes off the [disabled list]. I don't know when that will be," Torra continued. "I'm hoping this is permanent, at least for most of the season."

Torra was leaving Mobile today and was flying to Sacramento to meet the rest of his new Triple A teammates. He's scheduled to start in Saturday's game.

"I knew it was a possibility, but for some reason, I thought it was going to be in two or three starts before somebody got moved," he said. "It was at least a week before I thought somebody was going to move. That's OK. We're ready for it, and I'm glad to be back up in Triple A."

The Pittsfield High School graduate was told by Mobile manager Rico Brogna and pitching coach Dan Carlson before the game. It turned out to be quite a night for Torra, who not only got his call up to Triple A, but got to rub elbows with a slew of Hall of Famers.

"We had a pretty big event here at Hank Aaron Stadium. It was the home opener and the opener of the Hank Aaron Childhood Home and Museum. Hank Aaron was there, Willie Mays was there, Bruce Sutter was there, Bob Feller, Rickey Henderson, Ozzie Smith -- the commissioner [Bud Selig was there]," Torra recalled. "We had this whole on-the-field thing. I was able to get Hank Aaron's and all their autographs, except for Willie Mays, on a baseball."

The right-hander was scheduled to pitch tonight in Mobile, but now will wait an extra day.

"I'll be fine. Actually, I'll be on seven days rest instead of five," he said. "I'll have some extra time. I'll get in a bullpen here at the field, and we should be good to go Saturday.

"I'm feeling pretty good with it."

There are a few reasons why Torra would like to stay in Reno for a while. Obviously, the first is that it gets him one step closer to pitching for the Diamondbacks. The other is that this cross-country travel could be tiring.

"I've already driven to Alabama, and now we're packing up the car," he said. "My wife is about to drive up to Reno."