Carpenter looking to nail down bullpen spot

Carpenter looking to nail down bullpen spot

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Exactly one week of Cactus League play remains and right-handed reliever David Carpenter is still here, looking like a favorite to land one of the last bullpen spots on the Angels' Opening Day roster.

"The longer you hang around, the more you think about, 'Oh, I can make the team,'" Carpenter said. "But I just have to keep pitching as I've been, put the decision in their hands. Hopefully it benefits me."

Carpenter hasn't allowed a run in nine of his 10 outings, putting his spring ERA at 3.38. As camp has gone by, and the list of relievers have whittled down, the 27-year-old has looked like a logical fit to help round out the Angels' 'pen to start the season.

Carpenter was up with the Angels for almost four months last year, posting a 4.76 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP in 39 2/3 innings from mid-April to early August.

If he joins a relief corps that includes Ernesto Frieri, Sean Burnett, Kevin Jepsen, Scott Downs and Jerome Williams -- and perhaps also Garrett Richards -- Carpenter would give the Angels a suitable right-handed ground-ball pitcher, at least until Ryan Madson is ready.

"I'm working not just on being down, but being down with a purpose, because I'm not going to throw a fastball by anybody," said Carpenter, who has posted a 1.90 ERA in 147 career Minor League innings. "If I let them hit it on my terms, it's going to help me out in the long run."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.