SEATTLE - David Carpenter said the news was "about as tough as you can get."
Just minutes after arriving at Safeco Field yesterday morning, pitching coach Larry Rothschild intercepted the righthander on his way into the clubhouse and called him into an adjoining office.
There, Carpenter received the news: He had been designated for assignment. A Yankees career both he and the team had high expectations for was over.
"I understand the move," said Carpenter, who had a 4.82 ERA in 22 appearances. "I knew I wasn't throwing the ball like I would expect to throw."
The Yankees acquired Carpenter, along with lefty Chasen Shreve, from the Braves in the offseason in exchange for former top pitching prospect Manny Banuelos. The Yankees envisioned Carpenter, a hard-throwing righthander who brought a 3.62 career ERA into the season, as the primary bridge to their late-inning power duo of Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller.
But Carpenter, whose arm was healthy and still throwing in the mid-90s, couldn't get in a groove, a mystery to the player, his pitching coach and his manager.
"For whatever reason he never got on a roll for us," Joe Girardi said. "At times it was a struggle. It was someone we expected to be a big part of our bullpen. He worked extremely hard, he was great in the clubhouse. It was just unfortunate."
Though stung by the move, the 29-year-old Carpenter, whom Brian McCann, a former teammate in Atlanta, vouched for before the offseason trade, will land another job. Plenty of teams need bullpen help, with one opposing team scout listing the Orioles, Twins and Cubs as possibilities.
"Do I hope that are there organizations that would find value in what I can bring to the table? Yes," Carpenter said. "Hopefully things work out for the best and I can go and be successful there. But it's a tough pill to swallow, especially with Mac kind of putting his neck out there for me, saying I was a guy that could come in and help. I feel really bad about letting him down."
Alex Rodriguez went hitless the final two games of the series and remains 13 hits shy of 3,000 . . . Didi Gregorius went 2-for-3 to give him an 8-for-22 trip . . . Mark Teixeira's 19 homers at Safeco Field are the most by an opposing player.