Checking in on Carpenter

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

10 thoughts on “Checking in on Carpenter

  1. MJ Recanati

    I imagine the Cards will pick up Carpenter’s 2012 option ($15M) and then sit on him until the Pujols situation is sorted out. They could still end up trading him in the upcoming offseason or trading him at the July ’12 deadline. I doubt he gets moved out of St. Louis before either this winter or next summer.

  2. T.J. Saint

    I’ve always been a big fan of Carpentar. Though I don’t know if I’d want to see him in pin stripes.

    • Why not?

      • T.J. Saint

        Don’t get me wrong or anything, I love Carpenter, I just don’t think he’s the same pitcher he used to be. Based off a post I read here on TYA the other day, pitchers coming from the NL to the AL on average see there ERA increase by 0.50. All of a sudden the Yankees are dealing with an old man throwing off the mound pitching with an ERA of 4.76. This may not be the case though considering his veteran experience. Though I just think that if the Yankees have better options like Paul Maholm of the Pirates, or even the high priced Wandy Rodriguez would settle well with me. I just don’t think placing Carpentar in New York will help Carpentar rebound from a disappointing season.

        • I think Carpenter is a much better bet than Maholm since Carpenter can actually miss a bat. As for Rodriguez, he just signed a three year deal and will cost a lot more than someone like Carpenter, who’ll just be a rental. I’d like Wandy a lot, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.

        • MJ Recanati

          “Based off a post I read here on TYA the other day, pitchers coming from the NL to the AL on average see there ERA increase by 0.50. All of a sudden the Yankees are dealing with an old man throwing off the mound pitching with an ERA of 4.76.”

          Carpenter’s ERA may be 4.76 but his underlying metrics indicate performance better than that number. While I agree that a move to the AL can inflate a pitcher’s ERA, Yankees fans should be not dismiss Carpenter without understanding that he’s pitching better in 2011 than the numbers might indicate.

          • T.J. Saint

            I agree with what most of you guys have said. Though I think getting Wandy is just as unlikely as getting Carpenter. St. Louis likes him and he loves St. Louis. That’s just the bottom line.

        • T.O. Chris

          The Yankees should stay as far away from Paul Maholm as possible, he is a terrible fit in the AL East.

  3. Adam B

    I agree with you on this one Matt, Carpenter is a proven, legitimate big league pitcher who can keep the yankees in the game during a playoff series with the sox. Plus they have flexibility since he has an option, perhaps they can get some draft picks out of him if they play their cards right.

  4. T.O. Chris

    It all depends on the price. He is old, and injury prone, if they ask for anything of real value I pass. He has his place in the game, and I think he could help us. But he won’t be, and isn’t the Chris Carpenter of old so as long as we keep that in mind looking never hurts.

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