The Cincinnati Reds have signed right-handed reliever Shane Carle to a minor league contract for the 2021 season and extended him an invitation to big league spring training.
The 29-year-old reliever has pitched in parts of three seasons in the Majors, seeing action with the Rockies and Braves from 2017-2019. A large majority of his time came in 2018 with Atlanta when he made 53 appearances and threw 63.0 innings with a 2.86 ERA. In 2017 with Colorado he only made three appearances, and in 2019 with the Braves he made just six appearances. For his career he has a 3.89 ERA in 76.1 innings with 36 walks (9 intentional) and 53 strikeouts. He did not pitch in the majors in 2020.
Like many other pitchers, Shane Carle struggled in Triple-A with a juiced baseball that was wreaking havoc on home run and scoring records between the International and Pacific Coasts Leagues. Between Gwinnett with the Braves and Nashville with the Rangers the righty reliever posted a 5.63 ERA in 40.0 innings where he allowed 52 hits, 17 walks, and had 35 strikeouts.
Nothing really jumps out at you from a stuff perspective with Shane Carle. His fastball averaged around 95 MPH. He will mix in a change up and slider that both work in the upper 80’s, and a curveball that works around 80 MPH. When it comes to his batted ball profile, he’s about an average pitcher when it comes to his ground ball rate, maybe slightly better but he doesn’t stick out as a ground ball pitcher.
Without knowing how he pitched in 2020 or any strides he has made since he was last seen on the mound, we can only discuss what he’s done in the past. Shane Carle doesn’t miss many bats – he has a 6.4 strikeout per 9-innings pitched rate in the minors and it’s just a tad lower than that in the majors. His walk rate in the majors is high, coming in at 4.2 walks per 9-innings pitched. In the minors, though, it’s been half of that – which is a very good rate.
It’s not impossible to be a quality pitcher in the big leagues these days without a lot of strikeouts. But it is rare, and the guys that can do it tend to still miss more bats than Carle has to this point in his career. And they also tend to be either big ground ball guys, or elite control guys, and he’s not shown that he’s either of those types. Of course this is simply a minor league signing and is more than likely a move made for depth rather than a plan built around having Carle pitch meaningful innings at the big league level (unless he’s changed since he was last on the mound and we just don’t know it yet).
You can see Shane Carle’s career stats here at Baseball Reference.