The Oakland A’s have had an interesting recent history at the 1B position and tonight saw another twist with 2005 15th-round draft pick Chris Carter getting the call. Carter was Oakland’s top organizational prospect, according to Baseball America, entering the 2010 season but four callups over the last two seasons didn’t go well for the slugger and he has since fallen to #7 in the same BA rankings.
The 1B journey for the A’s this season has included Daric Barton (currently in AAA Sacramento), a surprising DFA for Kila Ka’aihue and a spectacular entry to the bigs by Brandon Moss. Carter is expected to platoon with Moss, who hit 7 HR right out of the box but is slumping badly and hitting .224.
Tonight, despite the 4-3 loss to the Rangers, Carter got off to a good start out of the 7th spot in the batting order. He went 1-for-3 with a 9th-inning homer off of Tanner Scheppers with two outs to cut the Rangers’ lead to one run at 4-3. An out later, the game was decided.
With parts of 8 minor league seasons under his belt, it is now or never for Carter to prove that his prodigious power will translate to the major league game. Oddly enough, the A’s find themselves in a state of flux as the team is outperforming expectations and have hovered around .500 for most of the year. With the two-wildcard format that is in play this year, they’re not exactly out of the race at this point.
Do the A’s have time to see if Carter can mash? Will the platoon work to make Oakland’s 1B position a punishing righty-lefty combo? If it does, the A’s could make it interesting for all those AL east teams that are staying close to the .500 mark.