It looks like Chris Carter will get another chance.
The Oakland A’s recalled the first baseman from Sacramento on Friday, and sent struggling pitcher Tyson Ross down to Triple A in return.
They have always been stuck between a rock and a hard place when making a decision with Carter – call him up and have him struggle with the big league club, or send him down to the minors, where he routinely lights up the stat sheet and has nothing left to prove.
Just compare the stats: in just 72 games with the Sacramento River Cats this season, Carter is hitting .279 with 12 home runs, and leads the team with 53 RBIs. That puts him on pace to hit 27 home runs and drive in 119 runs, an insane stat line for a minor-league player.
But at the major league level, he has yet to even crack the Mendoza line: in 39 career games over two seasons, Carter is hitting .167 with 3 home runs – including an 0-33 streak to start his career, which is an Oakland record.
What I have personally noticed with Carter is that he digs himself into a hole early in the count. Because he has yet to establish himself as a major-league hitter, pitchers are more than happy to go right at him and throw strikes. Too many times have I seen him take two fastballs right down the middle, then strike out swinging on a pitch in the dirt.
The stats back me up once again: he has struck out 43.5% of the time with the A’s throughout his career, compared to just 22.5% with the River Cats this season.
In order to be successful, Carter must attack pitches early in the count, and hopefully get a fastball that he drives out of the ballpark.
The bottom line is, Chris Carter is running out of both time and call-ups to prove that he is not a bust. They are in need some production from first base - Brandon Moss has cooled off (3 for his last 24) after getting off to a hot start.
Carter will play first base and bat seventh in the lineup today when the A’s take on the Texas Rangers in Arlington.