The Cincinnati Reds have signed David Carpenter to a minor league contract with an invite to spring training for 2020. He’s been training out at Driveline this winter and had some video posted earlier this month.

The 34-year-old reliever saw action in the Major Leagues from 2011-2015 with Houston, Toronto, Atlanta, New York (Yankees), and Washington. Then he didn’t pitch again in the Major Leagues again until 2019 when he got back to the big leagues with the Texas Rangers.

In 2019 most of his season came in Triple-A where he dominated out of the bullpen for Nashville. He posted a 1.63 ERA in 39 games while picking up 21 saves. In his 38.2 innings pitched he allowed 30 hits, three home runs, 13 walks, and he struck out 42 batters.

At the start of June David Carpenter made his 2019 debut with the Rangers, giving up two runs on a hit and two walks against Baltimore. It was his first big league action in nearly four years. He was back in the minor leagues for his next outing, but not before the Rangers outrighted him off of the roster. He cleared waivers and remained in Triple-A until mid-August. Texas added him back to the 40-man on August 13th and called him up. The righty pitched 2.2 innings without an earned run over three games with two walks and two strikeouts. But on the 21st after throwing 2.2 innings without an earned run over three outings, the Rangers again outrighted him to Triple-A. That’s where he finished out his season before electing free agency once the year was complete.

We’re dealing with a limited sample size of just four outings in the Major Leagues last season, but he showed a 94 MPH fastball (average velocity, not peak) to go along with a mid-80’s slider. He also showed a splitter a couple of times according to Brooks Baseball. Reds minor league pitching coordinator and director of pitching initiatives Kyle Boddy noted on twitter that he was “excited to have this guy in camp” and that he had an “improved slider and fastball velocity trending upwards”.

11 Responses

  1. CallowayPost

    Kinda reminds me of an older Bob Steve with that mid 90’s fastball and buckling slider…although it does look like this isn’t the full distance of a major league mound and home plate, so less reaction time, but I could be wrong.

    • Doug Gray

      It’s just a perception issue. It’s the right distance.

  2. CFD3000

    It will be interesting to see if the Kyle Boddy / Driveline connection gives the Reds an inside track on pitchers like David Carpenter. If so, and if the Reds don’t overvalue those pitchers just because they’re working with Driveline, this could be a very productive relationship. Carpenter looks like a low risk, high upside signing. Approve.

    • Worthless

      I’m perplexed baseball is allowing him to operate Driveline. I’m great with it, I just seeing it being a conflict of interest.

      I’m a Reds’ fan. I’m not being negative. Just a thought. Please don’t scorch me. I’m sorry in advance.

  3. My Beloved Reds

    Is there an injury history here? Four years out of the majors. It looks like he did well last year when he was called up, but was sent back down twice.

  4. centerfield

    Carpenter is a middle reliever with no real “out” pitch (unless he’s developed one). Shoulder and elbow aches but no apparent surgeries through 2015. He’s worth a ML deal and an invite to spring training.

  5. Northern Ky Reds

    Nothing special here. We have a ton of David carpenters.

  6. Hotto4Votto

    I’m just glad it’s not the former Cardinal’s pitcher, which was my initial thought upon reading the headline.

    But, seems like a low risk move on a minors deal that could add some depth and experience to the bullpen. These type of unheralded moves can pay off down the road sometimes.

  7. MK

    I remember he was highly touted with the Cards and thinking where do they find all these great Carpenters, but thankfully at the time it didn’t work out. Hopefully what we have already works out and he is a nice piece for Louisville bullpen.

  8. sixpack

    We still need a few bullpen arms and we are adding a few that may work. If you need two and you have eight to try the odds are good that you find. No one is proven until they are and that does not mean forever, so low risk.

  9. Rod Andrews

    We need to remember that half a teams roster is pitchers. Never can have too many, especially if they have some ml experience.