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.