The Oakland Athletics called up prospect Chris Carter after Triple-A Sacramento’s season came to an end. As reported by San Francisco Chronicle, Carter may find his playing time very sparse, since the team has Michael Taylor and Jai Miller vying for their share of at-bats as well.
Oakland has just a few games remaining this season, and Carter may not have enough time to make a good impression this month. Carter, who has moved into the outfield, used to be regarded as Oakland’s biggest hitting prospect, but he certainly hasn’t found much success in the majors.
He was with the team earlier this season, but the A’s young prospect hit just .133/.188/.133 in 10 games. Carter also spent time in Oakland last year, but experienced some trouble against big league pitching and hit just .186/.256/.329 with 3 HR and 7 RBIs in 24 games.
While he’s better suited as a first-baseman or designated-hitter, Carter has been moved into the outfield. The A’s have a few question marks heading into next season, especially regarding their future at the first base position.
The team tried to acquire Boston Red Sox prospect 1B Lars Anderson prior to the trade deadline this season, but their trade with Boston fell through.
Oakland did acquire 1B Brandon Allen shortly after missing out on Anderson, but while Allen started off hot in Oakland, his bat has really cooled off this month (7-for-51 in September).
Could Allen’s recent struggles open the door for Carter over at first base?
Probably not. Despite Allen’s struggles, the A’s seem to be sticking with Allen at first. At first glance, Allen and Carter are pretty much the same type of player, but after further evaluation, Allen is clearly the better defender between the two. And you know the A’s, they go crazy for good defense.
Carter’s best chance for playing time is the DH spot. Hideki Matsui has been the A’s primary DH this season, and while he’s had an incredible second-half, it’s still unclear whether or not the A’s intend to bring back Matsui next season.
At 37, Matsui is nearing the end of his playing days, but that’s not to say he’s not a productive player anymore. He still has a little life left in his bat, so I could see the A’s trying to keep him beyond this season.
If the A’s do go that route, however, Carter’s future could become very complicated. The A’s have a very crowded outfield, especially with Taylor finally in the mix, so a majority of Carter’s playing time would have to come from the DH position.
If Oakland does bring Matsui back for another season, I don’t see Carter getting much action in Oakland’s lineup. Susan Slusser, of the San Francisco Chronicle, suggests Matsui and Carter could share time at DH, but that has the potential of being counterproductive. If the A’s do go that route, it’ll be interesting to see the type of results they get.
The A’s face a few problems heading into the final weeks of the season, and the organization will need to reevaluate their plans this offseason for sure. From first base to the glaring problems on offense, the A’s will definitely have their hands full this offseason.
What do you think? Should the A’s move Carter back into a role at first base? Should the A’s bring back Matsui back for another season? Sound off below!