The only thing that kept Astros fans from wanting Chris Carter out of the lineup (for good) early on, was the thought that just maybe he could be a second-half wonder once again. His abysmal .185 first half with 115 strikeouts in 85 games made us believe he could only get better, right?
We were hoping it could be the same story as 2014, which saw Carter come into the All-Star break sporting a .205 average with 99 strikeouts, only to see him break out in the second half.
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In just 64 games, Carter amassed 18 home runs at a 13 ab/hr clip, both of those lead all of baseball in that span. His average was also a respectable .252, giving hope to Astros fans maybe this kind of production would leak into 2014.
That worked out about as well as his second half is going this season. Coming into Thursday’s game, Carter is 5-for-33 in the second half, which comes out to a .152 batting average. While Carter can still be seen as a power threat, the lack of contact completely outweighs the power threat.
So what do we do with Carter? Luhnow has openly expressed the fact Carter has to earn his playing time now, which he has shown by only allowing 33 at-bats by the big righty since the break. Luis Valbuena has been occasionally filling in, sporting a .294 average when he starts at first.
We all know the Singleton project didn’t work the way we had planned, so what is next? While everyone wants to jump to A.J. Reed, I would be very surprised if we did not see Tyler White come up from Fresno in September.
A .316 hitter with a low strikeout total would be welcomed to this team in a heartbeat. Even if those numbers are in AAA.
If the Astros want to hold their spot atop the division, they will need more production out of the first baseman, whoever it is. Unless things change quick, I would be shocked if his name is Chris Carter.