Carpenter among Braves' non-roster invitees
Right-hander previously pitched for Atlanta from 2013-14
ATLANTA -- David Carpenter received an unwelcome surprise at the start of this year, when he learned the Braves had traded him to the Yankees. Nearly 11 months later, the right-handed reliever is thrilled to have an opportunity to rejoin the Braves.
Carpenter headlines the list of 10 non-roster players the Braves have invited to Spring Training. Other notable invitees include Ryan Lavarnway, who spent most of this past season as Atlanta's backup catcher, and Chris Volstad, who previously pitched for Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez when they were with the Marlins.
As the Braves attempt to reconstruct their bullpen, they are hopeful that Carpenter can regain the successful form he had when he established himself as one of their top setup men during the 2013 season.
The Braves acquired Manny Banuelos from the Yankees in exchange for Carpenter and Chasen Shreve on New Year's Day. Carpenter posted a 4.82 ERA in 22 appearances for the Yankees before being designated for assignment and traded to the Nationals in June. He made just eight appearances for Washington before being sidelined for the remainder of the season with an inflamed right shoulder.
Carpenter posted a 1.78 ERA in 56 appearances for the Braves in 2013. His success helped Atlanta compensate for the absence of Eric O'Flaherty, who pitched just six weeks before undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Volstad produced a 3.18 ERA in the 27 appearances (25 starts) he made for the Pirates at the Triple-A level this year. The 6-foot-8 right-hander was taken by the Marlins in the first round of the 2005 Draft, and he produced a 2.95 ERA while making 14 starts for the 2008 Marlins, who were managed by Gonzalez. But he has made just seven Major League appearances (all as a reliever) since the end of the 2012 season.
Because A.J. Pierzynski and Christian Bethancourt were battling ailments, Lavarnway caught each of the 18 innings the Braves played while sweeping a doubleheader against the Cardinals during this year's regular-season finale. The veteran backup catcher batted .227 and hit two homers in the 27 games he played for Atlanta.
The Braves' other non-roster invitees include right-handed pitcher Madison Younginer; infielders Reid Brignac and Chase d'Arnaud; outfielder Matt Tuiasosopo; and catchers Willians Astudillo, Matt Kennelly and Braeden Schlehuber.