Pirates reassign Carrara to minor league camp

Updated: March 30, 2006, 1:09 PM ET
Associated Press

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Former Dodgers reliever Giovanni Carrara was reassigned to the Pittsburgh Pirates' minor league camp in a surprise move Thursday, leaving an opening for a middle to long reliever on their 25-man opening day roster.

Carrara, who pitched for Pirates manager Jim Tracy in Los Angeles the last two seasons, had a 9.00 ERA in six spring training games. The 38-year-old Carrara said Thursday he had been unable to settle into a rhythm since returning from pitching for Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic.

"I've been leaving every pitch high. I know what I can do against these type of hitters and, right now, I'm not doing it, so I agreed to go back down to get it back," Carrara said. "It's tough because the last 4½ years in the big leagues, I did a very good job. Now I have to go down and leave this team. It's difficult."

General manager Dave Littlefield said Carrara's inability to regain his effectiveness became an issue as spring training nears an end on Saturday.

"His performance isn't up to what we've seen in the past," Littlefield said.

The 38-year-old right-hander was 7-4 with a 3.93 ERA in 72 games last season and 5-2 with a 2.18 ERA in 42 games in 2004. He also was with the Dodgers in 2001 and 2002 before pitching for the Seattle Mariners in 2003.

Carrara wouldn't blame pitching in the Classic for setting him back, but said, "It hurt me a little bit, but that's no excuse. I just wasn't ready."

Carrara's departure means non-roster right-hander Terry Adams or prospect Matt Capps could make the roster. Or, the Pirates could keep whichever right-hander isn't their No. 5 starter, Brandon Duckworth or Victor Santos, as a long reliever. Tracy wants to keep at least two such relievers, and right-hander Ryan Vogelsong will be one.

"I have not heard one way or another whether I'm on or off," said Adams, who has been in the majors since 1995. "Just like everybody else, I'm going out there pitching and hopefully I'll be in Milwaukee on Monday."

Carrara's demotion left 29 players in the Pirates' camp, four over the opening day limit. Not included are injured right-handers Kip Wells, Bryan Bullington and John Van Benschoten, who will open the season on the disabled list.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index