So we continue our Fantastic Off-Season of Asking Questions to Anybody Who Will Answer Them today with this post: Qs, As with Lancaster pitcher David Carpenter.
AC: You began your career as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals organization, drafted as a catcher in the 12th Round in 2006. Can you talk about your career - both in college and the minors - up until 2008?
DC: I signed early with (West Virginia University) my senior year in high school and played in half of the games my freshman year. My sophomore year I was the starting catcher and was made the All Big East 3rd team. Made the All-Big East 1st team my junior year and was drafted that June. I was known more as a defensive catcher until my junior year when I put up some offensive numbers. After the draft I was sent to short season ball in State College, PA. The following spring during the final days
of Spring Training I broke the hamate bone in my left hand and wasn't able to join the team in Low A Quad Cities. I rehabbed and spent July and August in short season again. The following year, 2008, I was invited to big league camp and started the year in Quad Cities and played really well before earning a promotion to High A Palm Beach. Later that year I was informed that I would be making the transition
from catcher to pitcher.
AC: The Cardinals shifted you from behind the plate to throwing at it beginning with the 2008 season. What was the reasoning for their decision, and how did you take it?
DC: Part of the reason was Yadi Molina had signed a big contract and none of the catchers below him were going to be moving anytime soon. They felt that it would be a good career move. The Cardinals had success with a friend of mine, Jason Motte, converting him from a catcher to a pitcher and we shared similar characteristics. At first I didn't take it very well at all. I was lucky enough to spend time with
Chris Carpenter, Josh Kinney, and Jason Isringhausen during my conversion and they really helped me through the process. They were with me on a daily basis and they helped me learn the ins and outs of pitching and just being a professional in general.
AC: Back in August, the Cardinals traded you for Pedro Feliz. Describe the circumstances regarding the trade, and how you heard about it, initial reactions, etc.
DC: I really had no idea that anything like that was going to happen. I was getting ready to get something to eat before heading to the field and I started getting text messages from friends saying congrats. I didn't know what they were about until someone from the Cardinals front office called and informed me of the trade. I was then contacted by Ricky Bennett who welcomed me to the Astros organization.
AC: We all know that Lancaster is rough on pitchers, but how did your mindset change - going from the Florida State League to the California League?
DC: My mindset really didn't change. I just tried to continue to do the things that made me successful the whole year. Work down in the zone, spot my fastball, use my slider as a put away pitch and just compete. I felt that was the best way to approach the challenge of pitching in the California League.
AC: How was the interaction in the clubhouse when you joined the JetHawks?
The guys really welcomed me with open arms. I couldn't have asked to be placed with a better group of guys.
AC: What are your plans for the off-season?
DC: My plans for the offseason are to go to WVU football and basketball games and spend time with my family once Instructs are over.
Big thanks to David for taking the time to answer questions. As with the other interviews, we'll try to check back in with David closer to Spring Training.