You’re a far better fan of the Philadelphia Phillies than me – and that would be saying something – if you are not someone attached to the team who actually remembers the pitching representative from the 1991 club for this “Phillies 50” series on the most random players from the last half-century.
Amalio Carreno was a 27-year-old right-hander who made his only three appearances in Major League Baseball that season.
A native of Chacachacare, Venezuela, he had signed originally with the New York Yankees and began his career in their organization at age 20 in 1984.
On July 15, 1988 he was traded by the Yankees to the Phillies in exchange for veteran utility infielder Luis Aguayo. From 1989-91 he was given 42 starts among 89 total mound appearances at Double-A Reading and Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre.
It was in July of 1991 with the Phillies floundering at the bottom of the NL East Division standings and in need of a fresh arm at the MLB All-Star break that the club brought him up for his big-league debut.
That actual debut came on July 7, 1991 at Veterans Stadium during an 8-2 loss at the hands of the New York Mets. Manager Jim Fregosi, who had taken the reigns from the fired Nick Levya back in April, would bring Carreño into the game in the 3rd inning after starter Tommy Greene was shelled for four runs on five hits over the first 2.2 frames.
Carreño would pitch 2.1 innings on that Sunday afternoon in front of more than 35,000 mostly disappointed fans. He allowed three earned runs on a pair of hits and a pair of walks. One of the hits was a two-run double off the bat of Kevin McReynolds with two outs in the top of the 4th inning that pushed the visitor’s lead out to 7-0.
After the All-Star break had passed, Carreño remained with the big club and would make two more appearances in back-to-back games against the San Francisco Giants at The Vet.
The first of those on July 13, 1991 went well when he struck out pinch-hitter Tony Perezchica with two outs in the top of the 9th inning of a game the Giants would win by a 7-5 score. It was his first ever big-league punchout.
The next night the Giants knocked out Phillies starter Danny Cox in the 4th inning and Carreño got another shot. This time things did not go well. The third batter he faced, Will Clark, drilled a grand slam homer to push the Giants lead out from 6-3 to 10-3.
After retiring the next batter he allowed a triple to Matt Williams and hit Steve Decker with a pitch, prompting Fregosi to lift him. It would be the final appearance on a big-league mound in Carreño’s career. Returning to Triple-A, he would finish out that season and then call it a wrap with professional baseball.
Overall, Carreño went 0-0 with a 16.20 ERA and 2.400 WHIP, allowing five hits over 3.1 innings across his three appearances with two strikeouts and three walks.
After his retirement, Carreño returned to Venezuela where he became a coach with Bravos de Margarita. He suffered a heart attack in 2013 but returned following an operation to continue with the ball club:
“We all have a mission in life and mine is to help children to get away from vices and play sports,” said Carreño per bravosdemargarita.com. He now also has a baseball school in his hometown of Chacachacare.