The Yankees have been busy upgrading their bullpen this offseason, as Gonzalez Germen and Andrew Miller have been added to the club through trade and signing in order to add depth to their bullpen. With a rotation that includes a lot of upside with CC Sabathia, Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda, Nathan Eovaldi, and Chris Capuano, it could also force the bullpen to be doing a lot of work. The additions New York has made this offseason could prove to be key in 2015.
The Braves have been in an interesting spot with their bullpen this offseason, adding the likes of Jim Johnson, Jason Grilli, Michael Kohn, and Arodys Vizcaino, but have subtracted Jordan Walden, Anthony Vavaro, and now Carpenter and Shreve. It has been an odd offseason for the Braves, who have shown the willingness to contend with the signing of Nick Markakis, but have traded Jason Heyward and Justin Upton away to the Cardinals and Padres, respectively.
The 29-year-old Carpenter is now reunited with catcher Brian McCann, who handled the Braves' catching duties from 2005 to 2013. Carpenter spent the last two seasons with Atlanta, and in 61 innings out of Atlanta's bullpen last year, he registered a 3.54 ERA, 2.94 FIP, and a 1.262 WHIP. Carpenter handled the Braves' eighth inning last season and recorded 19 holds, serving as a bridge to closer Craig Kimbrel.
Chasen Shreve appeared in the Braves' bullpen for the first time last July, and he was completely a shutdown pitcher. Shreve only allowed one run in his 12.1 innings of work, allowing 10 hits, while striking out 15 and walking only three. Shreve, a former 11th round pick, has a career 8.9 strikeout per nine inning ratio over five minor league seasons. Last season, the strikeout numbers spiked, as he struck out 102, while walking just 15 (!!!) in 76.1 innings of work in Double-A, Triple-A, and the Major Leagues.
Manny Banuelos was ranked as high as the 13th-best prospect in the minor leagues prior to 2012, but had Tommy John surgery and sat out the entire 2013 season. The Braves might be getting him on the low, as he still rebounded to pitch in as high as Triple-A last year, while registering a 4.11 ERA in 76.2 innings pitched overall. Banuelos pitched in 26 games, 25 of which were starts, and posted a 71/31 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Perhaps a change of scenery with Atlanta will do him well in 2015.