I’ll continue my theme of trade-related pieces today by looking at a guy we all thought would be a target for a mid-season trade: Chris Carpenter.
Let’s be honest Yankee fans, as soon as Albert Pujols got hurt, you were a little intrigued by the idea of the Cardinals starting to slip in the standings (but, seriously, it sucks that Pujols is out, especially since he was getting hot and is just a freaking joy to watch when he’s on fire). Right now, they’re only three games out and with the Reds not exactly lighting the world on fire, it appears that the Cardinals will be focused (as they should be) solely on catching the Brewers. I’ll say that with as close as St. Louis is in the standings, it’s still a bit too early to talk about them writing off 2011 but let’s examine if Carpenter is still worth of trade consideration.
His 4.26 ERA in the NL Central is a little “meh” but upon closer inspection, he’s having a good year. His FIP is sitting pretty at 3.37 and his xFIP is 3.26. On FanGraphs FIP- and xFIP- (think ERA+, but with under 100 being better than league average), Carpenter rates a 93 and an 87, both good marks.
Carpenter’s groundball percentage has dipped to 45.1%, but that’s still respectable and his control has been just fine at 2.13 BB/9. He’s even got his strikeouts back into the 7’s at 7.24 per nine innings. His HR/9 rate (0.85) has crept up a bit over last year (0.85) but that’s nothing too drastic.
So, is Carpenter still worth thinking about? Yea, definitely. I don’t know if he’s going to be available, but if he is, the Yankees should take a good look at him. He consistently puts up big numbers and throws a solid amount of innings. He’s also got the whole playoff experience and veteran presents* things going for him, too. I don’t put too much stock into that sort of stuff, but it can’t hurt, right?
*Yes I know it’s veteran presence; I’m referring to this