In response to Tuesday’s item about right-hander Cesar Carrillo experiencing yet another setback in the Arizona Fall League, reader Christian offered this comment:
The Cesar Carrillo news is disappointing. I remember watching the guy throw in game in a college world series qualifier against Joba Chamberlain. He was sitting 92-94 with a ton of movement and good secondary stuff. Hearing he is throwing 85-86 well into his rehab speaks for itself.
Yeah, people forget just how good Carrillo was when the Padres drafted him. I was at Carrillo’s pro debut in July 2005, and my observations at the time jibe well with Christian’s:
Carrillo threw 20 pitches in the first inning, 11 in the second, and 9 in the third. He was around the plate and kept the ball low in the zone. According to the scoreboard radar, his fastball was generally 89-93 mph, peaking at 94. He also featured a curve that came in around 77-80 mph. A third pitch, which I had trouble identifying (possibly a two-seamer?) came in mid- to high-80s.
Carrillo had sick movement on his pitches, and the Kevin Brown comparisons seemed reasonable to me then. The only hitter who did anything against Carrillo in that game was Stephen Drew. Both of those guys looked like they were on rehab assignment — they were way too good for the Cal League.
When I saw him this past August, Carrillo had lost some of the zip on his pitches:
…Carrillo didn’t have much in the way of command, which is in stark contrast to the only other time I’ve seen him on the mound. Still, a bit of rust is to be expected after missing so much time. Personally I’m giving him a mulligan for the season in terms of performance. Like Clay Hensley, Carrillo gets credit just for being out there and throwing some innings. Next year, of course, is different; then he’ll need to produce.
I still hold out hope that Carrillo will have a career, but realistically it’s not looking good for him or the Padres. What I wouldn’t give to be wrong about that…