He had been a former top prospect that made just five appearances the previous three seasons with the Phillies. He was a starter, but he knew the personnel in front of him -- Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt, Cole Hamels, Joe Blanton, Vance Worley and Kyle Kendrick -- meant opportunities to pitch in the big leagues would be slim.
So he moved into the bullpen. Carpenter, who replaced Ryan Madson on the 25-man roster Tuesday, was 5-0 with a 1.58 ERA in 24 appearances this season with Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He had allowed just 34 hits, nine walks and notched 51 strikeouts in 45 2/3 innings.
"I felt like I figured it out pretty quick," Carpenter said. "I like being able to somewhat play every day, I guess. There's always a chance I could pitch that day and help out the team more, and my arm feels way better relieving because of the shorter stints. I feel like my stuff got a lot better and a lot sharper."
Carpenter is throwing a fastball, slider and splitter these days. He tried a changeup and curveball when he started, but without much success. He doesn't have to worry about throwing them anymore.
"I don't want to at all," Carpenter said, asked if he would like to start again. "I like it right now."