The Yankees’ fascination with hard-throwers apparently is the impetus for trading left-handed starter Manny Banuelos to Atlanta for right-handed reliever David Carpenter and left-handed prospect Chasen Shreve in a trade first reported by YES insider Jack Curry Thursday evening.
Atlanta will naturally hope the 23-year-old Banuelos, whose career stalled a bit the last few years due to control issues and Tommy John Surgery, returns to the form he showed he showed in the Yankees camp in 2011.
The Mexican southpaw, signed by scout Lee Sigman, first entered the Yankees system in 2008. Last season, starting at Tampa, he seemed to get stronger as the season went on, pitching most of the year at Double-A Trenton before finishing at Triple-A Scranton.
He was 2-3, 4.11 in 26 appearances (25 starts) with Tampa, Trenton and Scranton in 2014, limited to 80 pitches at the end of the season. At Trenton, he went 1-3, 4.59 in 17 appearances (16 starts), throwing three-inning stints at first, eventually moving to the 80-pitch ceiling.
His strikeout-to-walk ratio in three stops was 71-31. His velocity was up to 94, his changeup improved as the year went join, with his curve coming around as the season went in. Batters at three levels hit .223 against him.
This season, it was figured he would go to camp with no limits.
“I feel good, and I think I will be back to where I was before the TJ in 2015,” said Banuelos in August after his last Trenton start. The Yankees obviously felt he had more value as a trade chip.
Carpenter, who will turn 30 July 15, is a native of Morgantown, W.Va., who was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 12th round in 2006. He has been involved in several major trades, including the one that brought manager John Farrell from Toronto to Boston in 2012.
He made 64 appearances for the Houston Astros in 2011-12, recording a 1-5 mark and pitched briefly for Toronto in 2012 before being traded to Houston and waived.
Carpenter was actually taken by Atlanta off the waiver wire on Nov. 30, 2012, and was a pleasant surprise for the Braves, going 4-1, 1.78 in 56 appearances and 65.2 innings. His strikeout/walk ratio was 74-20.
Interestingly, Carpenter, who has an excellent changeup, saw a jump in fastball velocity from 94 to 96 after he got to Atlanta.
Carpenter began 2014 with the Braves as their setup man. On June 17, he was fined an undisclosed amount for throwing at Colorado’s Corey Dickerson June 12. This was after he hit catcher Gerald Laird twice.
He was also placed on the disabled list that day, with 34 appearances and a 4-1 , 4.23 mark, 10 holds and 35 strikeouts. He ended the season with a 6-4, 3.54 mark in 61 innings, with 14 holds and a strikeout/walk ratio of 67-16.
Carpenter’s overall major-league mark with Houston, Toronto and Atlanta is 11-10, 3.62. His strikeout-walk ratio is 201-65. He has no issue pitching inside.