Expected to be called up to make the start on Saturday. Cormier is supposed to be ready the next time the fifth slot comes up, so unless Carlyle is lights out it will probably be his only chance for now.
Carlyle was a second round pick of the Reds out of an Omaha high school in 1996. He emerged as a prospect the next year with an exceptional season at low-A Charleston (WV), going 14-6 with a 2.77 ERA and 111 K/27 BB in 143 innings, getting jumped to AA to start the next season, but after one start was dealt to the Padres for Marc Kroon, I don’t know why. He went 14-6 again, this time for Mobile, with a 3.38 ERA but without the strong peripherals.
The next year he made his major league debut, one of the youngest players in the big leagues. (BTW, that must have been one of the most disastrous class of “youngest players” in history. How do the names Ankiel, Armas, Kim, and Bergeron grab you?) He didn’t pitch well, going 1-3 with a 5.97 ERA. Most of the year he was at AAA Las Vegas, where he went 11-8 but with a 4.89 ERA, though Vegas is a tough place to pitch.
He was okay in AAA in 2000 (8-6, 4.29, 127/44 in 151) but didn’t pitch well in relief in a callup and was sold to Hanshin in the Japanese Central League. His time as a gaijin did not go well, and in 2003 he was back in the States with the Royals organization, trying to make it as a reliever. I don’t know for sure, but I expect there were some injury problems; at any rate, he pitched well in AA but not at AAA. In 2004, he was in the rotation in the Yankees’ farm system, and again pitched well in AA but not at AAA. He definitely must have had some injuries in 2005, with the Dodgers, since he pitched once in rookie ball. He got a brief callup to the majors but did not do well. He pitched in 13 games in 2006 for the Marlins’ AAA affiliate, doing very well, then left for Korea. He’s pitched very well again for the Braves at Richmond this season.
As you can see, Carlyle has been around a long time and made a lot of stops, but he’s still only 29. His fastball goes about 89-93, and he also throws, or has thrown, a changeup. He’s been used in relief a lot but is ill-suited for the role, leading to inconsistent results, and the Braves and Guy Hansen decided to move him to the rotation. In the minors and Japan Carlyle has a nearly 3:1 career strikeout:walk ratio, but has allowed a lot of homers, just about one per nine innings. There’s no reason he can’t be a serviceable back-of-the rotation guy, but the Braves have plenty of those.
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