Arizona Diamondbacks: Signing of David Carpenter provides bullpen depth
By Joseph Jacquez
Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen added bullpen depth before the Trade Deadline
The Arizona Diamondbacks signed a former high quality major league reliever to a minor league contract Thursday. According to a club announcement from the independent ball Bridgeport Bluefish, the Diamondbacks agreed to terms with David Carpenter.
The 32-year-old right-hander pitched for five seasons in the big leagues from 2011 into part of the 2015 season. In recent seasons, he experienced arm issues and has not pitched at the big league level since.
For Carpenter, 2012 was a year to forget. Yet he became one of the most reliable relievers in the game in 2013 and 2014. Pitching for the Atlanta Braves, Carpenter compiled a 1.98 ERA in 56 appearances in 2013. That year, Carpenter made his Braves debut on May 10 and ended up pitching in the postseason. The following year, Carpenter logged a respectable 3.54 ERA in 65 appearances.
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In 2011, his first major league season, Carpenter pitched to a 2.93 ERA for the Houston Astros in 34 appearances.
Since being granted free agency and signing back with the Braves in November 2015, Carpenter was released by the Braves, Rays, Angels and Rays again. Since being released by Tampa Bay for the second time in his career in March, Carpenter has been strong for the Bluefish.
As the closer for Bridgeport, Carpenter made 34 appearances and pitched to a stellar 1.98 ERA. The righty struck out 45 in 37.2 innings pitched and led the Atlantic League with 30 saves.
In the club announcement, Bridgeport manager Paul Herrmann talked about Carpenter signing with the Diamondbacks.
"“Carpenter has done a phenomenal job as our closer this season and last. He is very deserving of this opportunity and we are very happy for him. We’re confident he will be successful with his new team as he strives to make it back to the big leagues.”"
More Help on the Way?
Currently the Diamondbacks are connected to Miami Marlins closer A.J. Ramos. Despite losing 14 of their last 20 entering Monday’s series opener with the Atlanta Braves at Chase Field, the Diamondbacks still appear ready to go all in at the trade deadline.
With outfielder J.D. Martinez added to the fold, acquiring a bullpen piece was the next logical choice. Given Carpenter has not pitched in the big leagues since 2015 and threw to independent ball hitters, the chances of general manager Mike Hazen settling with him is slim.
That said, Carpenter is throwing the ball well and has a proven track record. When they are chasing a berth in the postseason, a team can never have enough relievers . Carpenter could use his postseason experience to mentor several inexperienced members of the current Arizona bullpen.
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Right now, Pat Neshek of the Philadelphia Phillies is drawing a interest from many teams. It would not surprise anyone if Hazen were to enter that conversation. Other relief options include could Justin Wilson of the Detroit Tigers, former Diamondback and current New York Met Addison Reed, and all star Brad Hand of the San Diego Padres.