Tuesday, January 27, 2015

New Yankees reliever Carpenter looking forward to seeing bullpen in action

After taking a quick look at its new pieces, it's tough for anyone to ignore the Yankees' bullpen's potential. 

Anyone including its own pitchers, apparently, as new Yankees' right-hander David Carpenter is also impressed with the group's talent. He said so during a conversation on Tuesday, just under four weeks since he was dealt from the Braves. 

"I think it can be really, really strong," Carpenter told MLB.com's Bryan Hoch. "There have been multiple people talking about it throughout baseball, the potential that our bullpen has. It can be one of the best in the Major Leagues."

The Yankees have certainly made it a priority to strengthen their relief core this offseason, a rather unsurprising happening given their unsure offense and rotation. Aside from trading for Carpenter January 1, the Yankees signed set-up man Andrew Miller and acquired lefty Justin Wilson from the Pirates this winter, moves they seem to expect will fill the void left by David Robertion.

Indeed, the Yankees are holding their 2015 backup arms to a high standard, and will likely need them to perform well if they want to achieve success. Maybe that's why they were so willing to cut ties with former top prospect Manny Banuelos in order to get a hold of Carpenter, knowing of the latter's relationship with catcher Brian McCann. 

"To be reunited with [McCann], it's going to be really, really special," Carpenter said. "The kind of words he shared with the front office, wanting to pull the trigger on trying to get me, it really boosts your confidence for sure."

Carpenter and McCann were teammates with the Braves in 2013, and appeared to work nicely together.

Not that that's an unusual occurance with McCann, who has a reputation for helping pitchers improve. With the Yankees last year, McCann helped two rookies, Dellin Betances and Adam Warren, record sub-three ERAs, often jogging to the mound in the middle of games when they or anybody else looked to be having trouble. 

Factoring in all of that, the Yankees' bullpen definitely strikes one as promising, and Carpenter is admittedly excited about it with the season nearing. 

"I'm really excited to get down there to Tampa, just get started and see where we end up," he said. 

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)