By Jeff Louderback
The Red Sox retained another power reliever when Chris Carpenter was outrighted to Triple-A Pawtucket. The 27-year-old right-hander, who was acquired from the Chicago Cubs as compensation for Theo Epstein last offseason, was placed on waivers last month when Mike Napoli was added to the 40-man roster.
A third round pick of the Cubs out of Kent State University in 2008, the 27-year-old Carpenter has a live fast ball that has reached 100. Though has has command issues – he has averaged 4.2 walks per nine innings over his five-year minor league career – Carpenter tends to generate more strikeouts as a reliever, a role to which he was converted in 2011.
Last March – not long after the deal was announced – Carpenter underwent surgery to remove a bone spur from his pitching elbow. He rehabbed and returned to the mound, and posted a 1.15 ERA in 16 relief appearances at Triple-A Pawtucket.
His Major League time with the Red Sox was a disappointment as he logged a 9.00 with 10 walks in six innings and eight games.
Carpenter gives the Red Sox another arm in a well-stocked bullpen at Pawtucket. BoSox Banter recently reported the talented bullpen depth Boston has at the Major League and Triple-A levels.
Along with Carpenter, the Red Sox acquired 22-year-old right-hander Aaron Kurcz from the Cubs for Epstein. He also has a live arm and owns a 2.98 ERA and 211 strikeouts over 160 innings in three minor league seasons since he was an 11th round pick out of the College of Southern Nevada in 2010. He is a promising relief prospect who struck out 72 in 50.1 innings last season at Double-A Portland.