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RedHawks' David Carpenter successfully switches from catcher to pitcher

By Ryan Aber, Staff Writer, raber@opubco.com Published: June 14, 2011
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But since being called up from Corpus Christi on May 11, a day after Sergio Escalona was called to Houston, Carpenter has been the RedHawks' top reliever.

Going into the second game of Tuesday's doubleheader against Albuquerque, Carpenter had yet to give up a run in 13 appearances and had four saves while allowing 10 hits and walking just 3 in 12 2/3 innings.

The 25-year-old has seemed more relaxed in Triple-A than he did to start the season in Double-A.

“More or less, just realizing it's still 60 feet, 6 inches,” Carpenter said. “Hitters are a little more polished here, but then again, defenses are going to be a little bit better. I've just been reminding myself to slow down and go after each guy.”

Carpenter credited RedHawks pitching coach Burt Hooton and veteran pitchers Nelson Figueroa and Gustavo Chacin with helping him take off once he arrived with the RedHawks.

“Just being able to talk to those guys and ask them on a daily basis how to go about your business, what's the best way to attack this guy and just certain things in the clubhouse like etiquette and stuff like that and being able to pick their brains is very important,” he said.

“They've been doing this for awhile and having the opportunity to do that is only going to give me a chance to get better.”

Just one step away from the majors now, Carpenter is thankful for the position switch.

“Growing up and always talking about wanting to have that opportunity to go and play in the big leagues, for it to be this close and this real, it's a dream come true,” he said.

“I couldn't ask for anything more.”


Changing it up

RedHawks relief pitcher David Carpenter isn't the only player involved in Tuesday's RedHawks doubleheader against Albuquerque who has been involved in a position switch. Here are some others:

Brian Bogusevic, RedHawks: Drafted as a pitcher by the Astros in the first round in 2005, Bogusevic was converted to an outfielder in July 2008 and broke into the major leagues last season.

Brian Esposito, RedHawks: The catcher, currently on the temporary inactive list, spent part of the 2003 season as a relief pitcher for Class A Augusta before converting back to catcher.

Travis Schlichting, Albuquerque: After being released by the Angels after the 2006 season, the then-third baseman converted to pitcher while playing independent league baseball in Kansas City in 2007. He broke into the majors with the Dodgers in 2009.

By Ryan Aber

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