Carroll pitched two scoreless innings his first two times out on 31 pitches. But his last two games have seen him walk five and allow three runs over 1 2/3 innings.
After posting strong numbers this year in Triple-A, he is now trying to find his way in the majors for the first time. He’s trying to get to that point where a young pitcher can just relax out there and show his talent.
“Yeah, I think that goes for any level,” Carroll said this afternoon. “There is a slight learning curve. I would say the one from Triple-A to the big leagues is a little bigger. But, yeah, I think just about for anybody. You go out there and test the waters basically. Learn what you can and can’t do. And just try to get comfortable out there.”
At Triple-A this year, mostly for Scranton before the trade but also in two games with Norfolk, he is 4-0 with a 2.47 ERA and with 18 walks and 57 strikeouts in 43 2/3 innings. Carroll has not allowed a homer this season and that includes to 178 batters he faced in the minors and to 18 more in the majors. The Orioles called him up on July 31.
In four games with the Orioles, he has averaged 97 mph on his four-seam fastball and thrown it 72 percent of the time, using his slider 21 percent and his splitter seven percent of the time, according to Brooksbaseball.net. Four games at this level have already taught him a few things, he said.
“It kind of teaches that what you’ve done your whole career that has gotten you here, that you need to keep doing that,” Carroll said. “You don’t have to change or be somebody different. You learn here that they can still get themselves out. They are big league hitters and good hitters, but I’m here for a reason. Even if you are one of the greats, you make an out seven out of 10 times. So just execute your pitches and do what you can control.”
Carroll was drafted in round 22 by the Yankees out of Southern Mississippi in 2015. He was an International League All-Star this year.
At 25, he’s a first-time big leaguer and trying to show Buck Showalter and his staff what he can do. Have the pitching coaches and Showalter given him some reassurances that he doesn’t have to win them over in one or two outings?
“They have. Just here and there. Little words of encouragement. They tell you we know you belong here. All that. But you have to go out there and actually do it,” he said.
That is the next step for Carroll: to show he can consistently get outs at the big league level. He is part of a large group of young pitchers that might get bullpen shots this year and next season.
So far, Carroll has enjoyed every one of his 14 days in the bigs.
“It’s been great. I couldn’t ask for anything more really,” he said.