Trying to clear some room on the 40-man roster yesterday afternoon, the Jays attempted to outright backup catcher Brian Jeroloman and recently-acquired reliever Cole Kimball to the minors, but both players were claimed on waivers. The Jays managed to replace one of those losses very quickly, though, claiming reliever Andrew Carpenter off waivers from the Padres.
Added to the Jays’ 40-man roster at this time last year to get protected from the Rule 5 Draft, Jeroloman was ranked No. 46 on our pre-2011 top 50 prospects list. Touted as the best defensive catcher of the 2006 draft class, the New York native made it to all the way up to Triple-A in his third minor league season in 2008. Now 26 years old, though, Jeroloman has flip-flopped between Double-A and Triple-A ever since then.
It’s a bit surprising to see Jeroloman go because, although he was considered primarily a depth option given the army of solid catching prospects the Jays have in their system, he would have been called up in the event something happened to either J.P. Arencibia or Jose Molina this past season. He was called up to the Jays in August but didn’t see any game action in the six weeks that he was with the club.
His best offensive season came last year, when he managed a .265/.436/.439 line in 88 games split between New Hampshire and Las Vegas, and his best defensive season came in 2009 when he threw out 43 percent of basestealers with New Hampshire. The Pirates were the team that claimed him, and he’s likely “on the outside looking in” at the backup catching spot to former Blue Jay Rod Barajas, according to Pittsburgh GM Neal Huntington.
Kimball, claimed off waivers from Nationals on Wednesday, returns to Washington after just three days as a member of the Jays. The hard-throwing right-hander underwent season-ending shoulder surgery in July and given that he’ll be out until at least mid-2012, the Jays tried slipping him through waivers instead of having him occupy a spot on their 40-man roster. For a full write-up about Kimball, click here.
Carpenter, 26, struck out 16 and walked seven in 14.2 big league innings this past season split between the Phillies and Padres. He’ll have a realistic chance of making the Jays’ bullpen out of spring training since he’s out of options, but if not, he’ll be a good depth acquisition assuming he can slip through waivers.
The California native was a second round pick by the Phillies in 2006 and has spent his entire career as a starter up until this year. Shifting to a full-time relief role in 2011, Carpenter showed promise in his time with Triple-A Lehigh Valley, managing a 1.79 ERA and 5.91 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 60 innings while limiting opposing hitters to a .213 average.