Seeking an experienced arm to bolster a bullpen that has been made over several times already this season, the Nationals on Thursday acquired right-hander David Carpenter from the Yankees in exchange for minor-league infielder Tony Renda.
The Yankees had designated Carpenter for assignment last week after he posted a 4.82 ERA in 22 appearances, putting 28 men on base in only 18 2/3 innings. But the 29-year-old was a successful and key member of the Braves’ bullpen from 2013-14, with a 2.63 ERA, 1.121 WHIP and 141 strikeouts in 126 2/3 innings.
Carpenter’s struggles this season weren’t attributable to any arm issues — his fastball averaged 95 mph, same as the last two years in Atlanta — but the Yankees reached a point where they couldn’t count on him to serve as their primary setup man in front of late-inning relievers Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller.
“For whatever reason he never got on a roll for us,” manager Joe Girardi told reporters last week after Carpenter was removed from the roster. “At times it was a struggle. It was someone we expected to be a big part of our bullpen. He worked extremely hard, he was great in the clubhouse. It was just unfortunate.”
Carpenter is expected to join the Nationals sometime during this weekend’s series in Milwaukee. Once he arrives, the club will need to remove someone else from their bullpen to make room for him. The Nats already transferred outfielder Nate McLouth from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL to clear a spot on their 40-man roster for Carpenter.
Renda was the Nationals’ second-round pick in the 2012 draft out of Cal-Berkeley. The 24-year-old second baseman was hitting .267 with a .333 on-base percentage, one homer, 23 RBI and 13 stolen bases for Class AA Harrisburg but was a long-shot to become a long-term contributor in a Nationals infield that currently includes Anthony Rendon, Yunel Escobar, Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa, with top prospects Wilmer Difo and Trea Turner knocking on the doorstep as well.
MORE NATIONALS: Banged-up Span legs out win for Nats