Buddy Carlyle heads to Japan

I had hoped to be able to write the following headline this winter and now it has happened. Buddy Carlyle has signed with the Nippon Ham Fighters of Japan’s Pacific League.

The 32-year-old right hander has a 5.61 ERA in parts of six seasons spent with the San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves. Carlyle’s best statistical season came in 2008 when he pitched in 45 games out of the Braves bullpen going 2-0 with a 3.59 ERA in 62.2 innings while having a career best 1.25 WHIP. The previous season he emerged as an emergency starter with the Braves and started 20 games while picking up 8 of his 11 career wins while helping out a Braves rotation ravished with injuries.

In 2009 Carlyle was expected to fill the role of swing man/first guy out of the pen but missed nearly three months of the season while dealing with a back strain and a diagnosis of Type-1 diabetes. In 16 appearances with the Braves he had a 8.86 ERA and a 2.203 WHIP and quickly proved he wasn’t much of an option going into the off-season.

Carlyle made $425,000 last season and had been rumored to be an option at a minor league contract for organization depth for the Braves. There figures to be no shortage of players looking for work this off season so it doesn’t figure to be too hard to replace a guy whose career numbers are 11-11 with a 5.61 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP. In his three seasons on the Braves big league roster he was 10-8 with a 5.09 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP.

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