In an effort to build organizational depth, the SF Giants have been aggressive in handing out minor league contracts recently. They have signed right-handed reliever Cody Carroll to a minors pact, which is the fifth pitcher they have added since the beginning of February.
SF Giants add hard-throwing righty on minor league deal
Carroll was originally drafted by the New York Yankees in the 22nd round of the 2015 draft out of the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. He worked primarily out of the rotation in college, but transitioned to the bullpen once he reached pro ball.
The 29-year-old moved aggressively up the minor league ladder, reaching Triple-A by the 2018 season. However, he was shipped to the Baltimore Orioles at the 2018 trade deadline along with Josh Rogers and Dillon Tate in exchange for a high-leverage arm in Zach Britton.
Carroll debuted with the Orioles shortly after that trade, registering a 9.00 ERA, 8.16 FIP, 2.00 WHIP, 8.5 K/9, and a 1.23 SO/W ratio in 15 appearances. Despite the subpar results, he continued to rank as one of the better pitchers in a thin Orioles farm system.
Eric Logenhagen and Kiley McDaniel of Fangraphs believe that he has the arsenal to stick as a major league reliever:
"He grew into what is now premium velocity pretty late, and was only throwing 88 in high school and 92-95 as a starter in college. Shortly after they drafted him, the Yankees moved Carroll to the bullpen and his velocity continued to climb into the upper-90s. Though he has tried several splitter grips, Carroll remains mostly a fastball/slider, single-inning reliever"- Eric Logenhagen and Kiley McDaniel
The righty appeared on a major league mound again in 2020, but the results continued to be disastrous as he yielded 12 earned runs in two innings. However, he has fared much better in the minors as he has posted a 2.93 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 10.5 K/9, and a 2.58 SO/W ratio across six seasons.
He generates good spin on both his fastball and slider to go along with mid-90's velocity on the former pitch. Nevertheless, consistency in his delivery and release point have plagued him for much of his pro career, which limits his overall upside.
With that being said, relievers who can throw a fastball in the high-90's on occasion will continue to get opportunities. It is not yet known if his deal includes a camp invite but that seems likely given that he has major league experience.
The Giants plan to have a lot of familiar faces returning for the 2022 bullpen, so opportunities will likely be few and far between. However, injuries and regression happen, especially with relievers, so it is necessary to have depth in case of an emergency. If Carroll can show improvement in his control, he could be a reliever to watch in 2022.