Red Sox Sign Watanabe, Release Carpenter

The Red Sox announced that they have signed Japanese right-hander Shunsuke Watanabe to a minor league contract.  Boston also disclosed that they have released the contract of right-hander Chris Carpenter to the Yakult Swallows of the Nippon Professional Baseball league in exchange for cash.

Watanabe, 37, is a sidearmer who boasts one of the lowest deliveries in professional baseball.  While his pitches top out around 70 MPH, his tricky delivery has frustrated hitters across 13 seasons with the NPB's Chiba Lotte Marines.  For his career in Japan, Watanabe has posted a 3.65 ERA with 4.8 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9.

Carpenter, who came over in the Theo Epstein compensation deal with the Cubs along with fellow right-hander Aaron Kurcz, saw eight big league games with Boston in 2012 and spent the bulk of 2013 with the club's Triple-A affiliate.   


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21 Comments on "Red Sox Sign Watanabe, Release Carpenter"


Andy Todd
1 year 8 months ago

Does Watanabe’s deal include invite?

Hawkeye250
1 year 8 months ago

It does not

cubs7691
1 year 8 months ago

Hope the Cubs get Carpenter back lol

rundmc1981
1 year 8 months ago

Alas, the Theo Epstein era is officially over in BOS. Live long and prosper, the other Chris Carpenter. May your sushi be fresh.

edwing
1 year 8 months ago

I topped out at 66 at the fair a couple years back. This gives me hope.

Denny Doyle
1 year 8 months ago

You’re clearly not a Sox fan. Or else you’d remember those days of being left in a game giving up 12 runs over 5 innings so that the rest of the staff could get a rest. Those days ruin ERAs and WHIPs. Or the fact that mid-season he was able to go from starter to closer due to injury, in a flash. Other pitchers can’t/won’t do those things. Thats not your average pitcher. You can’t quantify those things and in fact, they hurt his stats making him look more ordinary than he is.

BTW, no idea what those W/L numbers you posted are above (TH 16-9 3.44)? Huh? I just gave you the section of the totals that his name appears next to, to show he’s not keeping “average” company.

Bradley Maravalli
1 year 8 months ago

Good thing it is just a minor league deal.

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
1 year 8 months ago

Tim Wakefield had a 70 MPH fastball. He survived as an average pitcher in the AL for 17 years.

MunnMurphy
1 year 8 months ago

Knuckleballers kill your argument

Raysfan77
1 year 8 months ago

That’s cuz he threw a knuckler!!

Denny Doyle
1 year 8 months ago

Wakefield’s fastball was not 70mph. More like 86, his knuckle ball was around 70.

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
1 year 8 months ago

Yes. He was a trickster as a pitcher, as is the report on Watanabe.

Bill
1 year 8 months ago

Tim Wakefield got lit up for most of his career. Comparing Watanabe to him supports the claim that he will, too.

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
1 year 8 months ago

I simply implied that pitchers who rely on tricks can survive the AL. You’re taking my point completely out of context.

HitDog
1 year 8 months ago

“Lit up for most of his career” is a curious way to describe 17 years at a 105+ ERA.

Karkat
1 year 8 months ago

Wakefield played for 17 seasons in Boston. In 11 of those he had an ERA+ over 100. Three more were 98/99. Only in his final two (age 43-44 seasons) did he post an ERA+ south of 93.

That hardly says “got lit up for most of his career” to me.

Thunda Pig
1 year 8 months ago

Agreed Wakefield was overrated. Only 1 year as a full time starter he had an era under 4. That’s excluding years he spot started/pen. People give him too much credit because he threw a knuckler. He was an average pitcher nothing more.

Denny Doyle
1 year 8 months ago

Wins: (Pre-1950 pitchers excluded)
Tim Hudson 205
CC Sabathia 205
Orel Hershiser 204
Roy Halliday 203
Tim Wakefield 200
Chuck Finley 200
Dennis Eckersley 197

Yeah pretty “average”.

Thunda Pig
1 year 8 months ago

Reply he lasted a long time because there is a need for average pitchers. Wakefield was not as good as people think. He was average and there is nothing wrong with that. Look past the knuckler. Btw he also lost 180 games and pitched on a team that won a lot and had a good offense. I would love to pitch knowing Papi and manny was in that lineup.

Thunda Pig
1 year 8 months ago

Uhh you’re missing some guys on the top.
TH 16-9 3.44
CC 17-9 3.60
RH 17-9 3.38
TW 12-11 4.41
CF14-12 3.85
OH 14-10 3.48
So yeah Wakefield doesn’t belong.

Denny Doyle
1 year 8 months ago

You dismiss his longevity because average pitchers are needed. Then shouldn’t all average pitchers have 200 wins or at least as many starts?
Games Started:
Orel Hershiser 466
Don Drysdale 465
Milt Pappas 465
Doyle Alexander 464
Tim Wakefield 463
Bob Welch 462
Mike Torrez 458
Juan Marichal 457
*Wakefields numbers include 4 years where he only spot started.

He’s an “average pitcher” who keeps some really good company. Did Papi and Manny get him extra starts too? You can’t appreciate a player that can start, close, setup, long relief unlike anyone else. Also, his other numbers were out of line with where they should be as well. He was constantly brought in on short rest or left in ball games where he was getting shellacked only to give the rest of the staff extra rest.

You won’t see it because clearly you don’t like the guy. Thats your prerogative.