It’s a moment that every position player dreams of, getting a chance to pitch.
With the bullpen depleted and the game dragging into extra innings, Cougars jack of all trades Ben Carhart got the chance on Sunday.
Carhart pitched the final two innings of Sunday’s 7-4, 15-inning win at Cedar Rapids, and he got the win. He walked two and allowed no hits or runs in his outing. Carhart hit 90 miles per hour on the radar gun several times.
“It was awesome, man,” Carhart said before being promoted to high-Class A Daytona Wednesday night. “I pitched in college and high school. I never thought I would pitch again.”
In his outing, Carhart took in the whole experience.
He shook off catcher Cael Brockmeyer twice, throwing a changeup and a curveball in the dirt. He even threw a pickoff throw to first when a runner reached.
“(Brockmeyer) said that in his mind he was like, no way he’s shaking me off,” Carhart said. “I was like, yeah, I’m not going to throw all fastballs. You have to keep them guessing. You have to do it all, right?”
As the last out was recorded, at the urging of his Latin American teammates, Carhart did the familiar bow-and-arrow move that Mariners closer Fernando Rodney acts out at the end of his saves.
“He looked really comfortable out there,” Cougars manager Mark Johnson said. “It was pretty cool to see. When you get a win out of that, it makes it even better.”
Carhart picked up catching during instructional league last fall and even played 13 games at second base when needed this season, so it was only natural that he would get the call on the mound in a pinch. He was also one of the team’s leaders in the clubhouse. He was rewarded with a promotion after Wednesday’s game.
“It’s great having guys like that on the team,” Johnson said. “He’s been a huge component of the team. The way he brings his professionalism to the field and the way he can communicate with the guys and get more out of them instead of just sitting down and trying to just do his job, he’s been a huge asset.”
Arias and Bremer move on
The Cougars were hit by a Cubs trade yet again this week, this time with relievers Jose Arias and Tyler Bremer heading to Miami in exchange for former top prospect Jacob Turner.
It was generally regarded in baseball circles as a solid move for the Cubs, but it leaves the Cougars’ bullpen depleted heading to the playoffs. The duo combined to throw 77 2/3 innings out of the pen for the Cougars with 15 saves and a combined 6-2 record. Bremer had recently returned to the Cougars after a stay in Daytona.
“Bremer has been a big part of the back end of the bullpen,” Johnson said.
“Arias has had a heck of a year. They both put up good number and did a great job. The only way to look at it is that it opens up opportunities for other guys to see what they can do. (Jasvir) Rakkar and (Francisco) Carrillo have stepped up and thrown the ball well.”Tags: Baseball, Kane County Cougars