The Reds announced this morning that they’ve signed right-hander Shane Carle to a minor league contract with an invitation to Major League Spring Training.
Carle last appeared in the big leagues with the Braves in 2019. The 29-year-old righty enjoyed strong results out of the Atlanta bullpen in 2018 when he notched a 2.86 ERA in 63 1/3 frames, but that impressive mark appeared unlikely to be sustained for a number of reasons. Carle punched out just 16.6 percent of opponents that year, against a 10.4 percent walk rate that was north of the league average. He also benefited from a .258 average on balls in play and a home-run rate so low it’d have been nearly impossible to repeat. Carle’s 4.59 SIERA told a much different story than that bottom-line ERA.
Regression was swift in 2019, as Carle allowed more home runs (three) in 9 1/3 innings than he did throughout the entire 2018 season. He was tagged for 10 runs in those 9 1/3 frames while walking more hitters than he struck out. Carle’s Triple-A work wasn’t much better (5.13 ERA), and he eventually was bounced from Atlanta’s 40-man roster, landing with the Rangers, where his Triple-A struggles continued.
In all, Carle has a 3.89 ERA in the Majors thanks to that 2018 season, but the rest of his numbers aren’t nearly as encouraging. He’s also been tagged for a 5.49 ERA in 221 1/3 innings of Triple-A ball, but the Reds will likely try out a new plan of attack to help him maximize his strengths. Carle did average better than 95 mph on his heater in 2018, he gets ground-balls at an average clip, and opponents have put up pitiful numbers in plate appearances ending with his slider (.203/.260/.319) and curveball (.108/.175/.216).