Message to Chris Carter: Grab some bench! To say the Astros new leftfielder is off to a slow start would be an understatement. Not only is Carter 0 for 11, he has struck out seven times.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, Carter has also shown us what Athletics fans already knew — he isn’t actually a leftfielder. After hanging out in front of the Crawford Boxes for a couple of games without incident, Carter looked terribly out of place there today. I’ll give him a pass for not being able to flag down Lance Berkman‘s eighth inning drive that turned into a double. But failing to catch a pop fly off the bat of A.J. Pierzynski later that same inning is inexcusable.
Chris Carter (Douglas Jones-USA TODAY Sports)
Right now it almost looks as if Carter is simply going through the motions. Dazed. Confused. Lost. At the plate, it looks like he is feeling for the ball instead of swinging. Carter definitely needs some time on the bench to get his head screwed on straight — and I’d be surprised if Bo Porter thinks otherwise.
So the guy who was the centerpiece of the Jed Lowrie trade isn’t exactly what we thought he was. It’s still early in the season and I think there’s still hope that Carter can get things straightened out at the plate. But as far as I’m concerned, the leftfield experiment needs to be scrapped.
Unfortunately for the Astros, Carter is out of minor league options and this is a problem that will need to be worked out at the big league level. To add insult to embarrassment, the Astros already have a couple of other guys at the 1B and DH positions that are also having trouble making contact.
What’s a manger to do? We’ll find out Friday night when Brad Peacock (also part of the Lowrie trade) takes the mound against the Athletics. I don’t expect to see Carter in the lineup, but if Peacock can come up with a good outing it could buy Astros fans a little piece of mind.
It will also be interesting to see what Nate Freiman can do in the upcoming series. Freiman was claimed by the A’s when the Astros tried to sneak him through waivers last month. The big first-baseman didn’t see any action in the A’s first two games but is scheduled to play tonight against Joe Saunders and the Mariners.