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Former Phillies and Brewers RHP, Andrew Carpenter, now finds Success with Blue Jays

Former Phillies and Brewers RHP, Andrew Carpenter, now finds Success with Blue Jays

June 20, 2012

Right-handed pitcher, Andrew Carpenter, has had a very busy professional baseball career. After being drafted in the second round of the 2006 MLB Draft by the Philadelphia Phillies, Carpenter moved through the Phillies organization, making his MLB debut in 2008, before joining the Milwaukee Brewers in 2011 and the Toronto Blue Jays for the 2012 season. Carpenter sat down with JaysProspects to discuss his journey in professional baseball

Being drafted in the second round by the Phillies in 2006, Carpenter said was exciting for him and his whole family. “I had worked very hard my whole life for that moment and God blessed me with a high round pick. We were all just overwhelmed with joy.”

There is no denying, however, that the Phillies were also happy that Carpenter signed as immediately after being drafted, the Fairfield, California native joined the Phillies GCL team and the Batavia Muckdogs (A-) for five games, recording a 0.61 ERA in 14.2 innings pitched, allowing one earned run on 12 hits and five walks while striking out 16.  “My first few games in pro ball went really well, obviously,” he laughed, adding, “It was a good and very different experience for me. The lower levels of pro ball you can’t really describe, you just kinda have to experience it for yourself. But it was a great time and a great group of guys and just another good chapter in my baseball career.”

After being successful with Clearwater in 2007, where he posted a 17-6 record with a 3.20 ERA, Carpenter  played A+, AA, AAA and made his MLB debut in 2008 on August 27th, where he pitched a scoreless inning in relief.

“2008 was an interesting season for me as I started that year in AA and struggled. I just wasn’t throwing quality pitches. So I went down to the pitching coach I had the year before and figured things out. Then went back up to AA and started pitching like I used to and then got the surprising call to the show.

“My MLB debut was the day I’ve worked so hard for and it finally came true. That call is one of the greatest feelings in life. My debut was crazy. There were lots and lots of nerves. After I threw the inning, though, what a relief! I got my first strikeout and faced some big names. It was just a great time.”

Carpenter spent 2009, 2010 and 2011 with Lehigh Valley (AAA) with the occasional game in MLB. His best season came in 2011, where he transitioned to the bullpen and played in 34 games with the Iron Pigs, recording a 5-1 record with a 1.79 ERA, while walking 11 and striking out 65.

When asked how he was able to find such success, Carpenter credited his pitch repertoire (his sinking fastball, slider, and splitter) and his control on the mound. “I think my success comes from my ability to control my pitches and put them where I want to,” he said.

Carpenter added, “My best skill on the mound also lies in my confidence and my knowing that I will be able to get the batter out. I do not letting the hitters know if I don’t have my stuff that day and I just battle through everything to get my team the win.”His success in 2011 enabled other teams to realize his potential, and in September 2011, the San Diego Padres claimed him off of waivers. He then played 5.1 innings in for the Padres, walking one and striking out six.  Discussing what it was like to join a new team, Carpenter admitted: “It was exciting to start a new chapter of my career and be only an hour away from home.” He added, “It was great to play for the Padres. I had friends and family come see me for the first time in person in the Big Leagues.”

Joining a new team was something he would have to experience again in 2011, as in November, the Toronto Blue Jays also claimed him off of waivers. Since joining this new team in 2012, he has played with the Las Vegas 51s where he has gone 5-2 with a 3.68 ERA in 19 games played, striking out 50 and walking 14.

“Joining a new team is a part of baseball. It is exciting because you get to meet new people, make new friends, and start another new chapter in this crazy baseball life.

“My experience with the 51s has been great. The players, coaches, and staff are great and it’s just fun to play here, on top of that we are a pretty good team and just like to have fun. Being with the Toronto organization has been a pleasure so far and a very enjoyable place to play.”

Carpenter thanks his parents and his wife for helping him get to this point of his professional career and being able to experience all of the great moments he has. “My parents have given me the opportunity when I was younger to succeed. Also I’d like to thank my loving wife who is here all year through the good and bad times throughout my crazy seasons.”

His family has been there for all of Carpenter’s high and low points. Discussing these, the 27 year old admitted, “My best three days in baseball was when I got called up for the first time, got my first big league win, and when I threw a perfect game in high A.” He added, “My worst moment was probably my second year to start AA and struggling bad after all the success I had to that point.”

In closing, Carpenter shared a unique tidbit about himself – that he loves cars, (Chevy’s to be exact). “I would absolutely love to be involved in a NASCAR team somehow one day!”

JaysProspects wishes Andrew Carpenter the best of luck this season. We also kindly thank him for his time.