Apologize for slacking here on High Cheese today. Things are winding down here in Clearwater and there are a bunch of loose ends to tie up. Figured I'd fill ya'll (that's what they say down here in Florida) in on one of the more intriguing performances of the spring. Andrew Carpenter, a 22-year-old prospect who went 17-6 at high-A Clearwater last season, pitched four scoreless innings against a Yankees lineup stocked with regulars. He struck out six, and was uber impressive in working his way out of a self-made jam in the ninth inning, loading the bases with no out yet escaping without allowing a run.
Carpenter opened up a lot of eyes today. He isn't regarded as one of the organization's top prospects, at least not by Baseball America. He wasn't invited to big league spring training. But pitching coach Rich Dubee and manager Charlie Manuel loooooved what they saw today out of the kid. He doesn't have the fastest fastball, but he's got five pitches, including a trickly little split fingered fastball that he uses as his out pitch.
Manuel's an old school guy, and he pretty much said, "I don't care who you are or what level you are at, if you got 17-6, you are doing something right." So they've heard about this kid. But today was the first time either Dubee or Manuel saw him in person. Afterward, I asked Dubee if Carpenter could help the team this season, possibly in the bullpen.
"He's not far down the road," Dubee said.