Although Theo Epstein (B-T/R-R) did not pitch in the Deerfield Academy Co-curricular league and never played baseball for the Brookline High School Warriors, or the Yale Bulldogs, the Sox may want to put him in the bullpen, instead of “The Other” Chris Carpenter. How much worse could he be than a C+ reliever with control problems?
So…Yo, Bud, Mister Commish! Epstein walked out on a legal contract; we say:
“Carpenter? No deal! We want Epstein back! As compensation, the Cubs can have Dicey K and a left-handed shortstop to be named later.”
But, no… Theo is glad that his only penalty for reneging on a contract is a mediocre reliever and Bud is relieved he did not need to play Commissioner and make a decision to earn part of his $22 million salary; more than the combined salaries of the NFL and NHL Commissioners; Oh, did we mention the private jet? “Would you like a blanket with that pillow, Mr. Commissioner?”
But, not to worry citizens of Red Sox Nation, Bud, who was the baseball mastermind of the pathetic Milwaukee Brewers [1970-97], reassures us with his astute evaluation of the deal:
““I truly hope and believe that this resolution will benefit both clubs, as well as Chris, who is an extremely talented reliever…”
Uh, Bud, does the “hope” OR “believe” apply to Carpenter?
Sox GM Cherington likes what he got in trade for his former boss, “Thief-o Epstein:”
“He’s a 26-year-old power arm — a right-handed pitcher who we scouted since his amateur days at Kent State and saw a lot last year, including in the Fall League,” said Cherington. “One of our Major League scouts in Arizona, Steve Peck, saw him. We felt like he was making some good adjustments there. We’re really happy to have him. He’s a young power arm reliever we think has a chance to be a really good big league pitcher.”
But, Jaoquin Andujar may be right, “Ju-nebber-know,” maybe our assessment of Carpenter is too harsh; maybe he is another Nolan Ryan, a late bloomer; he has potential with “plus stuff” and can be “dominant, when his command is working,” [Sickels] and ” If he can find a way to control his stuff, he could dominate as a high-leverage reliever.” [Fangraphs]
John Sickels of SB Nation’s Minor League Ball blog ranked the 26 year-old as the No. 14 overall player in the Cubs’ system, and had this to say:
“Chris Carpenter, RHP, Grade C+: Power arm pitched poorly in Triple-A bullpen due to command issues but looked much better in Arizona Fall League. Dominant when his command is working.”
This was an improvement over Sickel’s evaluation a year before:
“Bedeviled with control problems (22 walks in 29 Triple-A innings), but has plus stuff… he could find a role in the Chicago pen and a strong AFL showing will increase his chances. Age 25.”
In 2011 Keith Law ranked Carpernter as #3 Cubs’ prospect. [see all rankings, end of post] and Fangraphs [9/2011] ranked him #11:
“Chris Carpenter, RHP: A permanent move to the bullpen did not seem to agree with Carpenter in 2011. His completely fell apart as his command and control deserted him. One highlight to the year, though, was his MLB debut. While in The Show, he displayed a fastball that averaged out at 97 mph and a slider that sat at 89 mph. If he can find a way to control his stuff, he could dominate as a high-leverage reliever.”
During his “cuppa’ coffee” call-up in 2011, Carpenter’s ERA 2.79 was impressive, but in just 10 games, 9.2 innings, he was knocked about for 12 HITS, 3 RUNS, a HR and his K-W ratio was a dismal 8K/W7; in barely the equivalent of one game he threw two Wild pitches and the WAR geeks gave him an 0.2 rating.
“It’s the top of the 7th…Sox lead by a run, 4-3, but the Yanks have the bases loaded and nobody out and this is the last game of the season and it will decide the 2012 AL East pennant…And Valentine is signaling for the righty, Chris Carpenter…”
Oh, the “genuine MLB” souvenir foam hand middle finger?
Well… “This, Bud, is for you!”
- June 7, 2004: Drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 7th round of the 2004 amateur draft, but did not sign.
- June 7, 2007: Drafted by the New York Yankees in the 18th round of the 2007 amateur draft, but did not sign.
- June 5, 2008: Drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 3rd round of the 2008 amateur draft. Player signed June 17, 2008