Carlsen released by Cubs

One day after striking out the side against the Fort Wayne Wizards and picking up a win for the Lansing Lugnuts, Jeff Carlsen, a former star pitcher at North Kitsap High School and the University of Washington, was released by the Chicago Cubs. If it seems odd for an organization to release a pitcher who had an earned run average under two last year; a pitcher who had been a draft pick the year before after a record-setting career for the Huskies; a pitcher who, the night before, had whiffed a trio of Wizards — well, it seems odd to Jeff Carlsen, too. “They didn’t think my arm would come around fast enough,” Carlsen said. “I didn’t agree, but my opinion didn’t matter in the decision.”

POULSBO One day after striking out the side against the Fort Wayne Wizards and picking up a win for the Lansing Lugnuts, Jeff Carlsen, a former star pitcher at North Kitsap High School and the University of Washington, was released by the Chicago Cubs.

If it seems odd for an organization to release a pitcher who had an earned run average under two last year; a pitcher who had been a draft pick the year before after a record-setting career for the Huskies; a pitcher who, the night before, had whiffed a trio of Wizards — well, it seems odd to Jeff Carlsen, too.

“They didn’t think my arm would come around fast enough,” Carlsen said. “I didn’t agree, but my opinion didn’t matter in the decision.”

Carlsen had been slowed by a shoulder injury in college, which he was rehabbing even while he was drafted in the 22nd round of the amateur draft by the Cubs last June.

The injury has limited Carlsen’s velocity (he can throw in the low to mid-80s now), but seemingly not his effectiveness. Last year, while playing for the A-ball level Boise Hawks, Carlsen had thrown 40 innings and posted a miniscule earned run average: 1.5.

He was surprised and irritated to be released by the Cubs.

He said, “They told me it didn’t have anything to do with how I was throwing, but I wasn’t throwing hard enough at the time. They didn’t think I’d have success further up I went because I wasn’t throwing hard. And that’s why I’m home now.”

Carlsen is in Poulsbo now — lifting weights, throwing, and spending time with his family — but hopes his stay is a short one.

He hopes to attend a professional baseball tryout camp in June; if nothing comes of that, he’ll join an independent league or a California summer league.

He will have an impressive resumé to present. Carlsen is UW’s all-time leader in starts, and second in wins (with 24). In high school, he was a three-time baseball letterman, and was three-time all-league.

He was drafted by Major League baseball three times, once by Pittsburgh, once by Oakland, and once by Chicago. He didn’t sign with a major-league team until Chicago drafted him after his senior year.

Carlsen is patient, but he wishes the Cubs had given him the opportunity to fail, or succeed, at the higher levels of the organization before they made their decision.

He hopes to join his second major league organization, then show the Cubs — and the rest of baseball — what he can do at the higher levels.

“I’m working to make my arm stronger,” said Carlsen, who lifts weights five days a week at Poulsbo Athletic Club, “so I can go back and make them eat their words.”

More in Sports

Jonas La Tour of North Kitsap was the league MVP last spring. File Photo
Winter prep sports previews

North Kitsap boys basketball; Kingston wrestling

With the strong winds, Viking quarterback Colton Bower (2) was more effective running the ball in the first half. Here Quinn Knivila- Ruchie (52) and Jesus Mares (53) block for him. Steve Powell/North Kitsap Herald photographs
Wind, rain, Lions knock NK out of playoffs

It’s hard enough to beat the second-ranked team in the state playoffs… Continue reading

Viking quarterback Colton Bower was named MVP, again, of the Olympic League. File Photo
Bower MVP, again; 11 others also honored

Gee, wonder who the Most Valuable Player is in the Olympic League… Continue reading

Logan Sloman catches a touchdown pass. Nancy Treder/File Photos
NK gridders advance to 2A state semifinals

North Kitsap High School is on its way to the state Class… Continue reading

Maddie Pryde is one of the standouts on the Viking team. File Photo
Anacortes knocks N. Kitsap girls out at state

North Kitsap’s girls volleyball team stunned Washington in three sets Friday in… Continue reading

Colton Bower. File Photo
N. Kitsap hosts state playoff game Saturday

14th seeded Shadle Park will face No. 3 seed Vikings

The North Kitsap boys basketball team celebrates after pulling off an improbable comeback in the semifinals in the 2A state tournament against Lynden. (File photo)
Krulish: A look back at my 4 years in Kitsap

After a little over four years covering high school sports, and occasionally… Continue reading

Colton Bower’s 299-yard, six touchdown performance on Friday night helped him break the North Kitsap record for passing yards in a season. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Bower sets NK passing record in win over Kingston

Colton Bower is one of the last players you’ll ever hear talking… Continue reading

North Kitsap’s Maddie Pryde tips a shot past two Bainbridge defenders. The Vikings defeated the Spartans on Tuesday night to split their season series and share the top spot in the Olympic League. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
NK beats BHS to share top spot in Olympic League

The North Kitsap volleyball team never forgot about its first loss of… Continue reading

Review file photo 
The Bainbridge HS girls cross country team, shown here taking off during a league meet at Battle Point Park, took home the Olympic League championship last week.
Spartan girls XC win Olympic League title

The Spartans girls cross country team cooked up the same recipe for… Continue reading

Olympic’s Joshua Gauyan evades the defense of Port Angeles’ Jeremiah Hall on Friday night in Port Angeles. (Keith Thorpe/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
Prep Football: Week 8 roundup

Sequim 33, Kingston 20 The Bucs opened the game with a successful… Continue reading

Central Kitsap running back Kouper Hall went over 1,000 rushing yards for the season against North Thurston on Friday night. He had 304 yards and four touchdowns in the 61-7 win. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Central Kitsap’s big win over North Thurston helps push for playoffs

The Central Kitsap High football team had a whole lot of time… Continue reading