Sandy Alderson continued making minor moves in preparations to once again rebuild the Mets bullpen for the 2013 season, as the organization signed right-hander Andrew Carpenter to a minor league deal. The 27-year-old played parts of four seasons with the Phillies from 2008-2011 before getting claimed off waivers by the Padres, then heading for the Blue Jays. Toronto designated him for assignment this week, and Carpenter elected to become a free agent instead of taking a minor league assignment.
Carpenter is not a hard thrower, hitting 89.9 mph on the radar gun with his fastball, and is mostly a two-pitch pitcher with his fastball and slider. Although some of his career numbers aren’t very impressive (1-1 record, 7.56 ERA in 23 appearances), he did go 6-3 with a 3.18 ERA in Triple-A this season for the Jays through 20 appearances (12 starts). He’s another pitcher that can make hitters swing and miss (8.91 K/9IP in career), but he’s had some trouble keeping his control consistent (4.86 BB/9IP). Carpenter will report to Double-A Binghamton, and like Scott Pattersonlast week, I expect this reliever to get another hard look for a bullpen spot in 2013 as well.
Johan Santana is coming off the disabled list to make his first start since July 20th, but MetsBlog reported New York is going to limit their ace to 90 pitches against the Braves tonight at Citi Field. Santana only needed 38 pitches to get through 3 innings in his rehab assignment for the Brooklyn Cyclones last weekend, but he threw 3 more simulated innings in the bullpen to get his pitch count up to 90. There have been times this season when Terry Collins and the Mets have decided to put limits on Santana’s outings, and they haven’t ended well; let’s hope it’s different this time around.
He’s been fantastic in the lead off spot this season, but Terry Collins feels that Ruben Tejada‘s eventual spot in the lineup will be in the two-hole. This makes a lot of sense, as Tejada’s OBP has been over .360 for most of the season, and his patience at the plate allows him plenty of opportunities to get on base. However, it’s hard to put their young shortstop in that part of the order when there is no viable candidate for the lead off spot. Andres Torres occupied the top spot last night; he’s hitting .305 left-handed this year, but only .200 right handed. So, I wouldn’t necessarily say Tejada will definitely end up in the two-hole for most of his Mets career, especially when Daniel Murphy, the prototypical two-hitter, is still on the roster.
Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reported that Mets pitcher Dillon Gee had a favorable exam three weeks after he had to get surgery to repair a damaged artery, but he is doubtful he’ll be ready to return to New York’s rotation in 2012. As Gee said it best himself, if he started throwing at the beginning of September, he would have to be ready in two or three weeks before the season is over since the Mets are no longer in playoff contention. He’s progressing well since his surgery, and once he gets his six-week check-up in three weeks, he’s hoping he will be able to start throwing again, prepping himself for his role in 2013.