Welcome to Club Carter, Mets fans. Where the drinks are free and you get all the Kool-aid you can drink.
I am still advocating that Carter makes the team. Whether he is given the starting job or a bench spot is not as clear cut in my mind, but I definitely think he should be on this team. Not many give credence to his spring stats, but his brand of baseball makes it hard to ignore the potential that Carter’s bat possesses.
Lets look at some of the facts. He hammered out three more hits on Monday, raising his spring average to .444. He takes the game seriously and cares about his performances. Even the strongest Mets advocate knows that this is not as common as it should be. In a must-read article in the Star-Ledger, Brian Costa writes:
While fielding grounders at first base, Carter heard a few Mets players joking around nearby. So, politely but firmly, the new guy asked his teammates to be quiet. “He’s like, ‘I’m working,’” left fielder Jason Bay said. “And I think a couple other guys were like, ‘You’re kidding, right?’” No, he wasn’t.
Carter has a history of doing well in the spring, including last year when he batted .355 with 6 HR’s for Boston and Carter actually made the team that year. Even Mets manager Jerry Manuel questions his ability to keep Carter off the roster due to the big bat he yields.
“I tell you, he’s making a bid,” Manuel said. “We kind of have a pinch-hitting spot open at this stage. He has put his name in the hat very strongly, no doubt about that. I’ve been very impressed with his at-bats. Gives us a good option.”
Carter is knocking the cover off the ball this spring while the competition he is battling for a roster spot are not even close in their production to what Carter has done: Fernando Tatis .050, Frank Catalanotto .100, and Mike Jacobs .174. Carter has the right attitude and one that I believe benefits this team greatly. You got to admit if everyone took this approach, the team would be on another level in how they perform on the field.
“When I show up to the field I go, ‘What is the best way I can help the team, the capacity that I can fit in with this team?’ ” Carter said. “Every opportunity, I try to make the most of it. Move a guy over, get a base hit, work the count or play good defense, I’m trying to do everything in order to make this team better and improve my chances.”
The Mets can go two ways:
1) Give C.C. the job on the bench and this way he gets a dual role in spelling the starting first baseman and left fielder Jason Bay (which suits Carter very well). Then they can complete their first base project and find out exactly what they have in Murph-Jake until Ike is actually ready.
2) Give C.C. the starting job at first base and hopefully he shakes off the negative feedback other teams have about his “D”. In this scenario, C.C. can keep the position warm for Ike, F-Mart can be a viable backup for Bay (providing he stays with the team long enough) and that makes a stronger team overall.
I really don’t advocate giving Murph the job at first base if it means dumping Carter in Buffalo.
This guy is a stud and a professional. Anybody else want to join Club Carter? Kool-aid is on the house!