I haven't contributed as much as I've liked but the worst is over as far as exams go and I wanted to have a look on Jesse Carlson who has sparked my curiosity as a fan and I know next to nothing about the guy.
In fact, if you have any interesting tidbits on Carlson, I think they would be most welcomed as there is next to nothing on this guy.
Jesse Carlson was born on December 31st, 1980 out of New Britain, Connectcut. The birthplace of major league pitchers such as Ricky Bottalico and Carl Pavano. At the age of 19, his daughter passed at a mere 18 days. I feel terrible for sharing this but... I guess the more we know about the guy the more we'll like him.
Carlson, started his career out of the Detroit Tigers organization after being drafted in the 15th round (440th overall) in the 2002 draft. At UConn he was a starting pitcher posting a ERA of 4.50. He had a fair 8.25 K/9 rate but he definitely wasn't dominating. He does have the right left handedness (intended bad joke) and was probably drafted as an organizational arm.
His stint with the Tigers organization did not last long and looks quite suspicious to me actually. Carlson posted a solid season in short-season A ball with an ERA of 1.66 in 38 IP with 47 Ks and just 10 free passes. Very solid numbers for a reliever and being a lefty, definitely would require a move up.
So what happened? I did a little searching because you just don't release a 22-year old left handed pitcher who posts a 1.66 ERA in A ball. I did some digging up and he was released as being part of a joke gone bad . He really wasn't the perpetrator but he was guilty by association and it ultimately lost him his job. Carlson and two other teammates were performing a rap song when, Luke Carlin rapped about sleeping with major league vet Randy Ready's wife. Apparently Ready found it funny but the Tigers organization dubbed it sexual harassment (it does cross the line imho) and all three players were released. That saying, the release and potentially a guy's career isn't worth something that was meant to be funny and when a player is indirectly involved.
Carlson moved on quickly to the Astros organization where he pitched in A-ball moving up a level and improving on his work. He has a 12 K/9 with a 0.84 WHIP. Extremely impressively. Carlson according to Jim Callis of Baseball America has a sharp slider but that was back in 2003-2004 and I think he piqued the interest of a few Astro fans.
The Astros were aggressive with Carlson skipping the High-A level to AA. He didn't fare too well as hitters were catching up to him as he was rather mediocre. An ERA of 5 isn't that bad for a 23-year old but Houston didn't think so and was released. The Jays picked him up for a season where he fared well in his second stint in AA posting a 1.83 ERA in 39 IP. He was average again in a short stint at AAA. He would leave as a 6-year free agent from Toronto after th '05 season to hook up with Texas which produced further mediocre/unspectacular but not terrible numbers. He returned last season where he pitched in AA to a 4.86 ERA.
Carlson at 27 made his major league debut, you could use that journeyman tag on him as he's been with 4 organizations already. In his short stint he's pitched a 2 innings with 2Ks. He may just end up being a loogy with a repertoire that includes a slurve and a slider. He may even pull off a surprising season like Wolfe (if anyone saw his success before his major league debt had to be psychic especially with him posting era's in the 8s). Either way, I'm definitely rooting for him to be successful and after reading about some of the hurdles in his career that he has to go through, I wish him the best not just because he's currently a Jay.