The first-place San Diego Padres, who have been playing this week without one of their catchers, expect Yorvit Torrealba to rejoin them in Philadelphia in time for the beginning of Friday's series, manager Bud Black said Wednesday.
Torrealba was placed on the restricted list earlier this week to enable him to travel to his native Venezuela to testify -- or give a deposition -- against men who kidnapped his son last summer, sources close to the club confirmed. The news was first reported this week by Dan Hayes of the North County (Calif.) Times.
The Padres have not said why Torrealba left, calling it a personal matter. But this spring, he said two of his son's five kidnappers had been arrested.
Eduardo, his then-11-year-old son, was kidnapped by five men in Venezuela last summer and held for a $500,000 ransom over a 48-hour period. Torrealba, who took leave of the Colorado Rockies for roughly a month during the crisis, since has moved his family to Miami.
In Torrealba's absence, Nick Hundley, the other half of the Padres' regular catching tandem, has played every day and, entering Wednesday's series finale against the Mets, was hitting .750 (9 for 12) with one double, one triple, one home run, seven RBI and four runs scored over his past four games.
Torrealba, in his first season with the Padres, has been instrumental in San Diego's rousing start. He's hitting .287 with 14 RBI in 27 games and winning raves for his work behind the plate.
Black, who declined comment on the nature of Torrealba's personal matter, said he expects the catcher to join the Padres when they arrive in Philadelphia on Thursday.