Apr 17, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Boston Red Sox first baseman Mike Carp (right) is congratutled by third base coach Brian Butterfield (13) after a triple in the fifth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Carp Catching On


Mike Carp might just be the steal of the year. The Red Sox acquired the versatile Carp from the Seattle Mariners this spring for nothing more than cash considerations. The 26-year old left-handed hitter is capable of playing first base and potentially both corner outfield positions, but he probably doesn’t have to range to cover the massive confines of right field at Fenway Park. After being designated for assignment by the Mariners, the Red Sox scooped him up in the middle of spring training to compete with Lyle Overbay for the last 25-man roster spot.

Carp, a career .259 hitter, never really lived up to expectations in Seattle, and the Red Sox apparently believed a change of scenery would do him some good. At the beginning of this young season, it looks like they were right. Carp is absolutely tearing the cover off of the ball at this point in the year. He is currently five for twelve after last night’s contest, with four of those hits coming for extra bases.

Carp probably won’t continue hitting at this absurd pace. But he does look a lot more comfortable hitting in Boston than he did in Seattle. Safeco Field is a notoriously bad park for hitters, even though they have moved the fences in. In a year when the Mariners are once again struggling for offense, Carp might just make them regret letting him go for next to nothing.

Look for Carp to get some more starts against lefties this season. Coming into the year, Carp had beaten up left-handed pitching to the tune of a .300/.341/.462 line in nearly 80 games against southpaws. For having spent so little to acquire a player like Carp, the Red Sox look poised to reap a huge return on their investment.

 

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  • Willy W

    Lets not go crazy here, he’s being given a limited opportunity & capitalized on it but lets not dub him the steal of the season just yet. Ultimately he isnt a very good fielder & most likely (& based on history) will probably hit around .250 with some HR’s, as he does have some pop. He wont be a full time player any time soon (if ever)& if he were forced into ful time duty his flaws would shine brightly.

    • Aidan Flynn

      Willy, you stole the words out of my mouth. While he’s performed admirably thus far, it’s just 12 at-bats. It’s pretty likely that he will return to his old self over time, even with the ballpark change. Fact is, he’s been a rather mediocre hitter throughout his career, and his defensive liabilities prevent him from having all the much net value. He’s a good part time player and pinch hitter, but I have a hard time seeing him be anything more.

      • Willy W

        Thanks & I agree!

      • Harry Burnham

        Thanks for the comments,

        You’re right that he has been a mediocre hitter his entire career,
        But at 26, and with a change of scenery there isn’t any reason to think he cant improve. But I don’t know how much you can call his numbers against Lefties mediocre.
        I completely agree that he’s probably not going to be anything more than a role player and his defense is pretty suspect, but for only having paid cash for him, there really isn’t anywhere for the net return to go, other than up.
        ~Harry

    • Harry Burnham

      Hey, thanks for the comments
      I completely agree with what you’ve got to say about his fielding and his past as a relatively weak hitter.
      I think though, a move away from Safeco and at-bats against lefties are only going to be good for his average, maybe not .300 good, but good nonetheless.
      But I agree with you in that I dot think he should be a full-timer unless its necessary
      ~Harry.