Finally, quick success for confident Carter
MINNEAPOLIS — The remaining memories of Chris Carter’s 0-for-33 start in the Majors are slowly fading, as the A’s young slugger continues showcasing the kind of offensive prowess that made him a top prospect.
Now in his fifth stint with Oakland and first of the season, Carter has compiled four home runs in eight games since his June 29 callup. Each of his last two have been three-run shots, and he has eight RBIs to his name already.
The 25-year-old found his way into the starting lineup again on Sunday, as expected with Twins lefty Brian Duensing on the mound. Yet with Coco Crisp’s (shoulder) status unknown and Brandon Moss seeing more outfield action in the meantime, Carter could be looking at more playing time against right-handers in the coming days.
So far, Carter has handled them just fine, as three of his four home runs have come against them. Overall, he’s 5-for-10 vs. righties, compared to 3-for-14 against left-handers.
“A lot will do with how Coco’s doing down the road,” manager Bob Melvin said. “It’s not like Moss is slacking off here.”
Moss hit his 11th home run in 27 games with the A’s on Saturday and is batting .333 over his last eight games. Having both him and Carter in the same lineup, then, seems ideal for a surging Oakland team — particularly when the latter appears to have found the confidence he was missing during his previous visits with the A’s.
“He just looks like a confident guy now, and I think that was based on the fact he was playing well when he was brought up here and got off to a good start,” Melvin said. “Whenever you have some failures when you go from Triple-A and dominate the way he does to the big leagues and get off to a bad start, you tend to put more pressure on yourself. For the first time, he had success right away, and he’s riding that, starting to accept himself and his ability at the big-league level.
“It always takes a significant amount of time for him to accept himself at that next level, and I think the numbers would suggest that. Once he gets going, you see the type of numbers he can put up. But all of the Minor League guys swear by him and say he has a bright, bright future in the big leagues.”