Results tagged ‘ David Carpenter ’

Angels call up RH Barry Enright …

The Angels officially called up Barry Enright from Triple-A Salt Lake on Thursday, adding him to the roster prior to the opener of a four-game series in Seattle.

Enright, 27, is taking the roster spot of David Carpenter, who was charged four earned runs in one-third of an inning in Wednesday’s 11-3 loss to the Rangers. Enright is the sixth pitcher called up from the Minor Leagues since the start of the season, joining Carpenter, Nick Maronde, Dane De La Rosa, Michael Roth, Michael Kohn.

Enright, already on the 40-man roster, has struggled mightily in Triple-A Salt Lake, giving up 21 earned runs in 19 2/3 innings (a 9.61 ERA), while striking out 20 batters and walking eight. He last pitched Saturday, getting charged with 10 runs in 2 2/3 innings. With the Angels, he’ll probably work out of the bullpen.

Alden 

Game 19: Rangers-Angels …

Rangers (13-6)

TEX2Ian Kinsler, 2B
Elvis Andrus, SS
Lance Berkman, DH
Adrian Beltre, 3B
Nelson Cruz, RF
A.J. Pierzynski, C
Jeff Baker, LF
Craig Gentry, CF
Mitch Moreland, 1B

SP: RH Alexi Ogando (2-1, 3.32 ERA)

Angels (7-11)

LAA DISNEYPeter Bourjos, CF
Mike Trout, LF
Albert Pujols, DH
Josh Hamilton, RF
Mark Trumbo, 1B
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Brendan Harris, SS
Chris Iannetta, C
Luis Jimenez, 3B

SP: LH Jason Vargas (0-2, 6.75 ERA)

  • Yet another new face has graced the Angels’ bullpen. On Tuesday, lefty Nick Maronde was called up from Double-A Arkansas, with shortstop Tommy Field getting optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake and the Angels going with a three-man bench. The reason? Lefty Sean Burnett is currently sidelined with some tightness in his forearm, which he chalks up as part of the recovery from the removal of bone spurs in his elbow. It’s a day-to-day situation, but the Angels need as many healthy arms as possible in the ‘pen. That’s five new faces in two weeks (Maronde, Michael Roth, Dane De La Rosa, Michael Kohn and David Carpenter). The Angels now have four lefty relievers. There were times when Mike Scioscia didn’t have any.
  • Erick Aybar will go with the team to Seattle, but won’t be activated off the disabled list on Thursday, as he said he was shooting for on Monday. Mike Scioscia wants Aybar to get a couple days in extended Spring Training in order to work on his prep step, since the left heel could be sensitive to playing shortstop.
  • Jerome Williams still looks likely to make the start on Wednesday against the Rangers, but it isn’t official. Scioscia is waiting until postgame, just in case he has to use them. Lifetime against Texas, Williams has a 7.34 ERA. “I’m not worried about their lineup,” he said. “I’m worried about what I’m doing out there.”
  • Alberto Callaspo (right calf strain) is “still not quite where you’d want him to be,” Scioscia said, but added that “there’s a probability he’ll be ready over the weekend.” Callaspo is eligible to come off the DL on Saturday.

Alden

Angels 11, White Sox 5 …

If you’re in Arizona, this is the last time you’ll see the Angels’ everyday lineup this spring. Most of the everyday players will leave on Tuesday, after a morning workout at Tempe Diablo Stadium, and Peter Bourjos may be the only starter (besides Jered Weaver) who plays in the night game at Talking Stick.

They went out showing just how powerful the offense can be, scoring four runs in the fourth and ninth and finishing with 18 hits.

This spring, the Angels are second only to the Royals in batting average (.314) and OPS (.869), and lead in runs (194).

Some notes …

The good

Albert Pujols (.368 batting average), Josh Hamilton (.294) and Peter Bourjos (.352) each had two hits.

Sean Burnett gave up a walk and struck out a batter in a scoreless inning, giving him back-to-back scoreless outings after giving up three runs.

Mitch Stetter, who could win one of the last bullpen spots, retired the only two batters he faced — Adam Dunn on a flyout and Paul Konerko on a strikeout.

The bad

A.J. Schugel was supposed to pitch at least five innings, but exited after two because of a blister in his right hand.

David Carpenter, another guy fighting for that last bullpen spot, gave up a two-run homer to Tyler Saladino in the ninth.

Best quote

Mike Scioscia, on the offense: “Since Erick Aybar came back, we’re starting to see a little chemistry there and it’s been fun to watch.”

Best play

Pujols went from first to third on a hard-hit single to right field. I know, not a defensive play. And nothing spectacular. But it’s a sign that Pujols’ knee is regular-season ready.

Alden

Brewers 6, Angels 1 …

Josh Hamilton, Albert PujolsAlbert Pujols‘ surgically right knee has progressed to the point where he’s playing first base with no problems — though he wasn’t tested in his five-inning Tuesday debut — but now he’s dealing with something else.

“What’s giving him a little more trouble now is his heel, his foot,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “But he’s fine out there.”

Pujols has plantar fasciitis in his left foot. He dealt with it a little bit in 2004, ’05 and ’06 and didn’t miss any games, and the plan is for him to play Wednesday and Thursday (with at least one of those starts coming at first base).

Still, this is the kind of thing that can linger, so it’s worth monitoring.

Some more notes as the Angels moved to 5-13-4 this spring …

The good

Mike Trout went 1-for-3, driving in a run and running a long way to make a nice catch in the center field warning track.

David Carpenter, looking like a favorite for the final bullpen spot, got back-to-back outs in the sixth and has had a scoreless outing in eight of his nine appearances.

Howie Kendrick went 1-for-3 and has hit safely in all 14 of his Spring Training games, putting his batting average at .512.

The bad

Jason Vargas was tagged for five runs on eight hits (two of them homers) in 5 1/3 innings, putting his Cactus League ERA at 6.00.

Chad Cordero gave up a home run in two-thirds of an inning. Great story, but he’s now given up 12 runs in 4 2/3 innings and will probably be reassigned to Minor League camp pretty soon.

 

Mark Trumbo went 0-for-3 with a strikeout and is 9-for-42 this spring, with nine strikeouts and two walks.

Best play (that I saw)

Brewers center fielder Logan Schafer robbed Pujols of a potential homer to end the third inning, flipping the ball from his glove to his bare hand on the way down.

Best quote

Pujols, on his debut: “I could’ve played nine innings right now. But playing nine innings right now is being selfish. I don’t need to play nine innings right now, when there’s no need. So, take the rest and play smart when you can, because as soon as the season starts, my goal is to play over 155 games.”

Alden

So, who rounds out the Angels’ bullpen? …

Remember all that talk about the Angels’ bullpen being deeper, better heading into 2013? Well, that’ll probably be the case eventually, but leading up to Opening Day, a setback and some spring disappointments have made it a bit difficult to identify the seven relievers who will begin the regular season with the big club.

With 17 days left until the April 1 opener in Cincinnati, and Ryan Madson opening the season on the disabled list, five relievers are still set: righties Kevin Jepsen and Ernesto Frieri, lefties Sean Burnett and Scott Downs, and long man Jerome Williams.

That leaves two spots and some haziness because …

Michael Kohn, who progressed very quickly from April 2012 Tommy John surgery, has struggled with mechanics and off-speed pitches in recent outings and was optioned to Minor League camp on Friday.

Hiroyuki Kobayashi, signed as a Minor League free agent from Japan, was released in early March because he wasn’t throwing as hard as they expected.

Bobby Cassevah — homegrown, out of options and coming off a rough 2012 — cleared waivers and opted for free agency, eventually hooking on with the Rockies.

Veteran Tony Pena had a setback from Tommy John and is trying to work through it in Minor League camp.

Lefty Brandon Sisk, acquired for Ervin Santana and most of his salary, was sent down about a week ago.

Fernando Cabrera, another veteran obtained on a Minor League deal, has spent most of the spring pitching for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic (2 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 2 BB, 3 SO).

Andrew Taylor, the lefty who had a very brief stint with the Angels as a September callup, has a slight tear in his labrum and won’t pitch for a while. Granted, he didn’t really have a chance anyway.

With that out of the way, here are the options the Angels are left with (keep in mind that the seventh relief spot — the team hopes — may only be relevant for a few weeks, until Madson comes off the DL) …

Garrett Richards

I identified him early in camp as a guy who seems poised to land a full-year bullpen spot, and more than a month in, there’s no reason to change my mind. Yes, his future is best as a starter. Yes, the Angels will preserve starting-pitching depth by keeping Richards stretched out in the Minors. Yes, Richards struggled as a reliever last year. But Richards’ stuff plays as a reliever, he should be better if his role remains consistent, it’s time for him to be up in the big leagues for a full season, and putting him on the roster gives the Angels their best 25 heading into the season (I don’t think that’s up for dispute). Besides, they have better rotation depth 6-10 than they did last year.

Nick Maronde

In some ways, Maronde’s situation is quite the opposite of Richards’ — his future is probably as a reliever, but it’s probably best to keep him stretched out in the Minors. Why? He’s still developing and the Angels don’t need another lefty. Even with how camp has gone, I still expect Maronde to start for Triple-A Salt Lake, getting some valuable experience heading into a potential bullpen role in 2014 (with Downs a lingering free agent).

David Carpenter

That last spot may be Carpenter’s to lose at this point. In 2012, the 25-year-old right-hander posted a 4.76 ERA in 39 2/3 innings in the big leagues and a 2.75 ERA in 19 2/3 innings in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. But he hasn’t really stuck out this spring, giving up three runs on seven hits and four walks in 6 1/3 innings.

Chad Cordero

“The Chief” is a fantastic story, but he can’t really make the team out of Spring Training … right? “Never say never,” one member of the organization said. He is still in camp, and he bounced back in his last outing five days ago. Still, though, a long, long shot.

Others

Lefty Mitch Stetter, the longtime Brewers reliever, hasn’t pitched yet because of a bulging disk in his back that was bothering him early in camp, but he’s expected to get in a game at some point this weekend. … Robert Coello, 28, appeared in six games with the Blue Jays last year and has given up five runs in 2 2/3 innings this spring. … Kevin Johnson, who posted a 3.69 ERA in the Angels’ Double-A and Triple-A affiliates last year, has given up four runs in 5 2/3 Cactus League innings.

Outside help? 

The likes of Francisco Rodriguez, Jose Valverde and Brian Wilson, among others, are still out there, and the Angels do have an open spot on the 40-man. Not sure anyone available is an upgrade, though.

 – Alden 

MRI is clean, but Madson won’t throw for another week

Two things became clear regarding Ryan Madson on Wednesday: What he’s dealing with in his surgically-repaired elbow is nothing more than inflammation, and Opening Day is essentially out the window.

The former was revealed in a Tuesday MRI that came back clean. The latter is the result of Madson being shut down 13 days ago and unable to throw again for another week, when he’s re-evaluated.

Madson won’t flatly dismiss pitching the ninth inning on April 1 in Cincinnati, but he’s no longer in a race against time to make it back by then.

“That’s what I was going towards and it maybe got me in a little bit of trouble,” Madson said. “Now I don’t have a date in mind. I just want to let my arm take me and guide me.”

Madson first felt uncommon soreness in his elbow, which underwent Tommy John surgery on April 11 of last year, during his fourth bullpen session of the offseason on Feb. 1. Since then, he’s only been getting treatment. And for the next seven days, he’ll be on a strengthening program.

“I’m just going to listen to the trainers and my arm, especially, and just let it do its thing and not try to put any limits or goals on it,” said Madson, who was signed to a one-year, incentive-laden contract over the offseason. “But I can’t wait to go out on the field and pitch in a game. I want everybody to know that, the fans to know that – I am eager to get out there, and that’s what got me in trouble in the first place.”

The last thing the Angels want to do is rush his recovery, so they’ll wait until all the swelling subsides before allowing him to pick up a baseball again.

“I think that what he has is definitely manageable,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “It’s just going to be a matter of following some protocol to make sure he doesn’t do a little too much, too soon. He’s hopefully going to feel better fairly quickly.”

If Madson starts the season on the disabled list – all but a certainty at this point – Ernesto Frieri would probably be the closer, with Sean Burnett, Scott Downs and Kevin Jepsen the other options in the back end.

Madson’s temporary absence would also create an additional opening in the bullpen, with Michael Kohn, Garrett Richards, Hiroyuki Kobayashi, David Carpenter and Bobby Cassevah (out of options) among a large, eclectic group competing.

“I think there’s depth there,” Scioscia said, “and Ryan is a guy that can really solidify some roles down there and we look forward to that. I think from Day 1, we should be in a position to hold leads better than we did last year. And we expect Ryan to eventually be part of that.”

Alden

Is it too late to upgrade the bullpen? …

Here’s all you need to know about the pitching staff lately: During a just-completed 10-game road trip, the Angels’ offense averaged seven runs per game, notched double-digit hits seven times and totaled 23 homers … and still lost six of those games. That’s because, of course, the pitching was that bad. Angels pitchers combined to post a 6.78 ERA, giving up 72 runs (66 earned) and 21 homers in 87 2/3 innings during that trip.

The rotation posted a 5.07 mark, getting only four quality starts (two by Jered Weaver, one each by Dan Haren and Ervin Santana) and watching as C.J. Wilson and Zack Greinke combined to give up 24 runs (21 earned) in 22 1/3 innings. The bullpen was even worse, combining to post a 10.54 mark (or, 32 earned runs in 27 1/3 innings), losing five games and blowing five save chances.

Now, through the second half, the Angels rank ninth in the American League in ERA from their starters (4.78) and dead last — by a wide margin — in ERA from their relievers (6.65).

Houston, we have a problem.

Now, how do you fix it?

We’ll get the easy one out of the way first. You don’t do anything to fix the rotation. You simply expect proven commodities like Wilson and Greinke to figure it out, continue to lean on Weaver (15-1, 2.13 ERA, Cy Young favorite), get encouragement out of the recent outings of Haren (2.00 ERA last three starts) and Santana (five earned runs last 11 innings), and rest easy with Garrett Richards as a fall-back option.

There’s no reason why this rotation shouldn’t turn it around. (If it doesn’t, then I would hate to be pitching coach Mike Butcher.)

The bullpen situation is a lot more dire. It looked set, as it rolled through May and June with a collective  3.02 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. But that was with Ernesto Frieri going on a ridiculous (unrealistic?) run and, most importantly, with Scott Downs healthy. You really notice just how thin this relief corps is when Downs isn’t there. Suddenly, you’re relying on two 39-year-olds (LaTroy Hawkins and Jason Isringhausen), one guy who was in Triple-A a little over a month ago (Kevin Jepsen), two guys who would be in Triple-A if not for injuries (David Carpenter and Hisanori Takahashi) and one guy very few had heard of before May (Frieri) to hold leads.

The optimists’ view: Downs and Jordan Walden are slated to start rehab assignments soon and should be back shortly thereafter, and this latest rough stretch is only an anomaly for a bullpen that put together eight really solid weeks.

The cynics’ view: Downs is rehabbing a shoulder strain, was hit around right before landing on the DL and there’s no telling how effective he’ll be upon returning; Walden hasn’t looked right all year; and general manager Jerry Dipoto has to do something to address this ‘pen.

The Angels’ first-year GM didn’t find the reliever market very appealing in July, however. Granted, this was before the road-trip meltdown, but nontheless, here’s what Dipoto told me just after the non-waiver Trade Deadline when asked whether Downs’ injury made addressing the bullpen an even greater priority in August: “Not at all. You’re always open to any way that you can get better. Scotty’s been terrific for us all year, we don’t anticipate this being a long, drawn-out process, but like I said, you never know. And as a result, like I said all along, you remain as flexible as you can be. We’ll keep turning over the stones.”

Will gold show up under any of them?

Keep in mind: Now that the non-waiver Deadline has passed, deals involving players on the 40-man roster cannot be made unless the players already have cleared waivers. In other words, the player must be offered to the other teams in reverse order of the standings — with his own league first — and if he is claimed by someone, he cannot be traded. The club that placed the player on waivers can either withdraw the request and keep the player, or let the player go to the claiming team, which would then have the rights to the player.

I was personally shocked that ex-Royals lefty Jose Mijares slipped through 13 AL teams and landed with the Giants on Aug. 6, given his success and salary. Other names to keep in mind this month (and this is just a rough assumption): Darren Oliver (Blue Jays), Matt Reynolds (Rockies), Joe Thatcher (Padres, but out until mid-to-late August with knee tendinitis) and Wesley Wright (Astros) for lefties; Matt Belisle (Rockies), Rafael Betancourt (Rockies), Shawn Camp (Cubs) and Casey Janssen (Blue Jays) for righties.

Thing is, the Angels don’t have much flexibility on the payroll (especially not after taking on the pro-rated portion of Greinke’s expiring deal) or on the roster. Takahashi and Carpenter can be optioned, but that would be for when Walden and Downs are activated; adding someone extra before rosters expand would probably mean one of their out-of-options guys (Hawkins? Isringhausen? Jerome Williams?) are placed on waivers, since there’s no chance they option Frieri or Jepsen.

Perhaps that’s why the Angels’ front office is hesitant to add someone unless he’s a clear upgrade.

Question is: Is it too late to find that clear upgrade?

Alden 

Game 106: Rangers-Angels (Dempster vs. CJ) …

The Angels meet the Rangers’ counter punch tonight, in a sense. Ryan Dempster, acquired at the final minute before Tuesday’s non-waiver Trade Deadline, takes the bump after spending his first 15 seasons in the National League (and last eight with the Cubs). Albert Pujols, coming off back-to-back multi-homer games for the first time in his career, surely is familiar — and successful. In 67 career plate appearances against Dempster, Pujols has a .327/.433/.782 slash line.

“Dempster is a veteran, he knows what he wants to do, he’s very creative with how he pitches,” his Thursday opponent, C.J. Wilson, said. “He’s a control guy, throws any pitch at any count, that kind of thing. Some of the guys in here have faced him. Albert has faced him a ton of times. Albert’s got good numbers off him, so hopefully he can do something cool against him.”

Does it make Texas’ rotation better than that of the Angels?

Rangers’ rotation now: Matt Harrison, Yu Darvish, Derek Holland, Dempster and Scott Feldman, with Alexi Ogando as insurance. 

Angels’ rotation: Jered Weaver, Zack Greinke, Dan Haren, Wilson and Ervin Santana, with Garrett Richards as insurance.

“They’ve been looking for help like most teams are,” Haren said. “He’s a solid pitcher. I’m sure it’ll help their club. But I think we still like where we stand. We like our chances, that’s for sure.”

On to the lineups …

Angels (57-48)

Mike Trout, CF
Torii Hunter, RF
Albert Pujols, 1B
Mark Trumbo, LF
Kendrys Morales, DH
Alberto Callaspo, 3B
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Andrew Romine, SS
Bobby Wilson, C

Pitching: LH C.J. Wilson (9-7, 2.88 ERA)

Rangers (60-43)

Ian Kinsler, DH
Elvis Andrus, SS
Josh Hamilton, LF
Adrian Beltre, 3B
Nelson Cruz, RF
Michael Young, 2B
Geovany Soto, C
Mike Olt, 1B
Craig Gentry, CF

Pitching: RH Ryan Dempster (0-0, -.– ERA)

Some pregame notes …

  • Richards was optioned, with David Carpenter coming up
  • Trout was named AL Player of the Month and, for the third straight time, Rookie of the Month. (Weaver, however, got beat out by Jason Vargas for Rookie of the Month.)
  • Back to the pinch-running situation. Mike Scioscia revealed pregame Thursday that Kendrick was bothered by a calf injury yesterday, which is why he didn’t start. Asked if that was the reason he didn’t pinch-run him for Morales, Scioscia said, “It was part of the equation, yes. But I think when push came to shove, if we were down a run, we would’ve looked at some other things.” Vernon Wells, of course, would’ve been an option regardless. Kendrick told reporters (I wasn’t there) that his calf was actually fine.
  • Still no clarity on Scott Downs (strained left shoulder). Scioscia says it’ll take a week for them to get clearer indication. They’re waiting for the swelling to go down. This could take a while.

Some Angels.com links from Wednesday …

  • Angels stunned, drop heartbreaker to Rangers
  • Notebook, on August plans, the Greinke extension, Trout’s ties to Rickey Henderson, injury updates, etc.
  • Preview, on the CJ-Dempster matchup

Some AL West links …

And Ryan Tannehill joined the first team.

Alden

Richards sent down; Carpenter up …

One day after a no-decision in a mediocre start against the Rangers, the Angels optioned Garrett Richards back down to the Minor Leagues and brought up reliever David Carpenter to take his place.

Fans, or Richards, may not be too thrilled about the move, but it’s in no way surprising. The Angels are continuing to commit to Ervin Santana, who got the win after pitching five innings of three-run ball against Texas on Monday, and Dan Haren is on track to start Sunday. That means there’s no space in the rotation for Richards, who has options left and needs to stay stretched out so the Angels have some rotation insurance.

He’ll surely be back again.

After giving up five runs in 5 2/3 innings in a no-decision in Wednesday’s extra-inning loss, the 24-year-old Richards is 3-2 with a 4.33 ERA in 54 Major League innings this season. Carpenter posted a 3.55 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP in 38 innings during his first stint with the Angels. He’ll serve as a long man, as usual.

Alden

Game 75: Orioles-Angels …

Angels (41-33)

Mike Trout, CF
Torii Hunter, RF
Albert Pujols, 1B
Kendrys Morales, DH
Mark Trumbo, LF
Alberto Callaspo, 3B
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Erick Aybar, SS
Bobby Wilson, C

Pitching: RH Jered Weaver (7-1, 2.40 ERA)

Orioles (41-32)

Brian Roberts, 2B
J.J. Hardy, SS
Chris Davis, RF
Adam Jones, CF
Matt Wieters, C
Wilson Betemit, 3B
Mark Reynolds, 1B
Nick Johnson, 1B
Steve Pearce, LF

Pitching: RH Jason Hammel (8-2, 2.61 ERA)

Some pregame notes …

  • The return of Chris Iannetta (forearm strain) continues to be delayed. He was shut down recently for the second time, had a contrast MRI last week (weeks after getting an MRI when the forearm first flared up) and won’t re-start throwing for a couple days. “He’s fine,” manager Mike Scioscia insisted. “You’re just ruling some things out, and he’ll be throwing out here in a couple days.”
  • Rookie reliever David Carpenter has only appeared in two games since June 6, but Scioscia believes the difference in workload between his current role and one he’d have in the Minors (probably about 20 appearances when it’s all set and done) makes it more beneficial for him to stay in the Majors. “I think the experience he’s getting up here is going to be invaluable to him. Although he’s not the finished product, you can use the experience here and if you ever go back to the minor leagues or get an opportunity to pitch in a better role in the big leagues, you can use that as a platform to hopefully grow from.”
  • In case you missed it from last night … With his fifth-inning homer last night, Pujols has now homered against every team except the Cardinals, and has hit one out in 34 big league stadiums (including the World Series).
  • Aybar is riding a season-long 11-game hitting streak, the longest by an Angels player this year. His .321 BA in June tops all AL shortstops.
  • Jerome Williams came out of his sim game fine and will throw a bullpen session tomorrow.

Some Angels.com links from Tuesday …

  • Angels tee off at Camden Yards
  • Notebook, on Trout’s homecoming, Trumbo’s HR Derby chances, Jerome’s sim game and Mickey Hatcher‘s new job
  • Question of the Day, on Peter Bourjos
  • Preview, on the Weaver-Hammel matchup

Some AL West links …

And in the end, LeBron James had the last laugh.

Alden

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