Tuesday, February 21, 2012
A little more about Chris Carpenter
Piecing together a scouting report on newly acquired Red Sox pitcher Chris Carpenter:
* Carpenter is a 6-foot-4, 26-year-old right-hander who was a third-round pick in the 2008 draft out of Kent State. According to former ESPN.com Insider Jason Grey, Carpenter went in the third round not because of talent -- he could bring the plus heat in college -- but because medical concerns made teams a little wary. He had Tommy John surgery in 2005, a second procedure to clean up the elbow in 2006, and left the Cape Cod League in 2007 due to a tired arm. Add a little bit of effort in his delivery (although not as much as you would expect for a guy who can put up the radar readings he does), and some teams had some concerns about his durability.
* Carpenter hasn't had any problems since turning pro, registering 27 starts in 2009, 26 in 2010 and pitched as a reliever in 2011 (42 appearances). He posted a 2.82 ERA and a 118-to-52 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 130 2/3 innings across two levels in 2009, and a 3.41 ERA and 112-to-57 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 134 2/3 innings, mostly at Double-A, in 2010. Last season, he made 42 relief appearances combined at Double-A, Triple-A and for the Cubs. With Chicago, he had a 2.79 ERA in 10 relief outings in his first major league action. He is 21-19 with a 3.62 ERA in four minor league seasons.
* In an Insider piece published in 2010, Grey called Carpenter a "power arm" and wrote "I'm still intrigued about how his arm can play in the late innings, as when going max-effort he can put a 100 up on the radar gun."
* Carpenter's fastball topped out at 100.2 MPH last season. He was one of only 13 MLB pitchers to crack 100.
* More from Grey: "His four-seam fastball is tough to elevate, giving him a ground ball profile that can keep the ball in the park. To go with that fastball, Carpenter has two other pitches that both need a little work. He has an 82-85 mph breaking ball that looks like a slider, but that Carpenter actually calls a curveball. It gets a little too soft and loses its break at times, and his command of it is inconsistent. He also throws a straight change that has varied anywhere from 85 all the way up to 90 depending on how his overall velocity has been that day, but it's a fringy pitch at best."
* Carpenter was ranked as the Cubs' 14th-best prospect by Baseball Prospectus. They wrote: "He still has outstanding velocity, but his command troubles and injury history are red flags."