Results tagged ‘ Chris Carter ’

Leftovers from The Day After

The Day After, as in the day following the 2010 season that was, placed Billy Beane inside Bob Geren’s office this morning, informally holding court with a handful of us reporters while the rest of the A’s clubhouse was turning into offseason mode. Most of Beane’s 30-minute session is highlighted in this story on the A’s site, but here’s some leftover bullet points that I figured would best be shared than left idling on a word document on my computer.

  • When asked about individual accomplishments that stood out, Beane first mentioned Trevor Cahill. Said Beane: “When you think about him starting the season on the DL — and he was probably going to start the year in Sacramento anyway — and for him to come out and win 18 games with a sub-three ERA and lead the league in opponents batting average, it’s hard to not look at that and have that one stand out.
  • That said, Beane said he wasn’t so much surprised by Cahill’s success, but more so in how quickly it came about. Same for Gio Gonzalez. “Both just developed so quick. This was where I hoped they’d be a year from now.”
  • Meanwhile, Beane admitted Craig Breslow was a pleasant surprise. Breslow ranked second among AL relievers with 75 games pitched, tied for fourth with 74 2/3 innings and tied for sixth with 71 strikeouts. “I think Craig not only established himself as a valuable member of the club, but he also brings a real balance and intellectual leadership for these young guys,” Beane said. “He’s the kind of guy who, as a general manager, is the kind of mature leadership you like these kids to be around. I know he’s been voted the smartest guy in the league, but to be around him every day, you really see how he carries and conducts himself, and how guys really turn to him.”
  • When approached about the long-term plan for Chris Carter, Beane said “I think it’s our intention” to keep him in the outfield. Continued Beane: “Daric Barton has solidified himself at first, and I think Chris is a good enough athlete to make the transition. He really just went out there a couple weeks before he came up, so I think we need to give him some time. He does have power. So getting back to Daric, he showed himself to be, in my opinion, the best first baseman in the league. He’s also made significant strides offensively. I was quite pleased with what he did there this year, and I have no intention of taking him off first base.” That’s quite a bold statement and only proves the club’s intent to stick with Barton.
  • With Carter slated to be the club’s Opening Day left fielder next year — though Beane noted he doesn’t want to make a definitive statement regarding that notion — the A’s could be looking at an outfield of Carter in left, Coco Crisp in center and Ryan Sweeney in right. It’s likely the A’s will pick up Crisp’s 2011 club option, and they “feel pretty good” about Sweeney’s ability to be ready by season’s start following knee rehab. However, Beane noted a lot of the outfield makeup “depends on if there are any adds as well. Some of the dynamics of the outfield will be affected by any trades or signings.”
  • Finally, general thoughts from Beane on moving forward: “I

    think
    we’re excited about the offseason. We came in with the youngest team in the big
    leagues, and we left with the youngest team in the big leagues, but I think we
    did some things and accomplished some things that you wouldn’t normally
    anticipate with a team with this kind of youth and experience. To have the No.
    1 pitching staff in the American League is difficult no matter what your
    payroll is, and to do it with these kids and their inexperience is quite a
    statement and quite a building block for us going forward.”

That’s all I’ve got for you today, but you can regularly check this blog along with the A’s site throughout the offseason for all your A’s news.

Postgame tidbits

A handful of quick notes from Target Field:

  • Coco Crisp was tagged out trying to go from first to third in the sixth inning, when he made his way to second on a throwing error by Kevin Slowey before pausing to look back to find the ball and continuing on to third, where he was tagged. Pausing rather than just focusing on third base coach Mike Gallego, Geren said, led to the out.
  • The Twins are now 6-2 against the A’s and 24-11 against the AL West this year.
  • A’s starting pitchers have recorded a decision in each of their last 25 games, which is the fourth longest streak in Oakland history. It marks the longest since Aug. 21-Sept. 29, 1979, when A’s starters had a record 36 straight games with a decision.
  • Aki Iwamura‘s seventh-inning double was his first extra-base hit since June 15, when he was with the Pirates.
  • Chris Carter extended his career-opening hitless streak to 29 at-bats. It is the longest hitless streak to start a career by a non-pitcher since Texas’ Vic Harris went 0-for-36 in 1972. Carter has compiled 13 times in those at-bats.
  • Carter’s attempt at Drew Butera’s ball to left field that resulted in a double in the fifth had Geren saying his outfielder would likely make that play 8 out of 10 times. “It just didn’t stay in his glove,” Geren said. “He catches that more times than not.”
  • Henry Rodriguez has not allowed a run in 15 of his last 16 appearances. He has 17 strikeouts over that span.
  • Brad Ziegler made his first appearance since Monday, tallying two strikeouts in the eighth inning. He has appeared in just 12 of the club’s 44 games since July 31.
  • Daric Barton is 1-for-16 on the road trip and didn’t reach base for just the second time in his last 32 games Saturday. He still has a Major League-leading 102 walks for the season.
  • Gabe Gross has endured a stretch of 21 games without a start. On Saturday, for a second straight day, he entered the game late but did not get an at-bat.
  • Landon Powell joked before Saturday’s game that he was going to need to hit doubles with Rajai Davis batting behind him. He not only got a double, but a homer too. It marked his first home run since May 28 at Detroit.

Chris Carter lands on DL

Here’s a quick item on Chris Carter’s recent move to the DL. Talk about bad timing, considering rosters will expand in four days and he was a likely choice to join the A’s again.

ARLINGTON — Chris Carter
was placed on Triple-A Sacramento’s 15-day disabled list Saturday with a left
thumb sprain, seemingly hindering his chances of being recalled again when
Major League rosters expand to 40 men on Wednesday.

Carter suffered
the injury during the River Cats’ home game against Fresno on Friday while
diving for a ball in the outfield, A’s assistant general manager David Forst
confirmed.

X-rays were negative, but Forst said
there is currently no timetable for the return of Carter, Oakland’s highly
touted prospect who received his first taste of the big leagues earlier this
month but struggled, going 0-for-19 with nine strikeouts before being optioned
to work on his swing.

Carter, who
reached the 30-homer mark with Sacramento earlier this week, appeared to be an
easy choice for a September roster addition with the A’s. He’s hitting .258
with 31 home runs and 94 RBIs for the River Cats, but his injury will likely
force his Oakland return to be delayed for a handful of weeks.       

Postgame quick hits: An absent offense

Jack Cust’s struggles were mentioned in my previous post, but he’s not the only one battling at the plate right now, as evidenced by tonight’s three-hit showing against Minnesota’s Brian Duensing. Cust’s troubles just happen to stand out more because of his lack of run-scoring production, not to mention 28 strikeouts over his last 16 games. He’s obviously in a funk, but here’s a look at some other slumping players:

  • Cust may be streaky, but Kevin Kouzmanoff may be even streakier. He’s hitting just .136 (6-for-44) in August, which follows a combined .306 mark in June and July after hitting .244 in April and May.
  • Kurt Suzuki is hitting .192 (10-for-52) over his last 14 games after going 17-for-42 over his previous 11 contests. Overall, his season average is down to .255 — not exactly what the A’s are looking to get out of their catcher. He also hasn’t hit a home run since July 28, and Oakland as a team is currently in a six-game homerless stretch.
  • Mark Ellis, aside from his three-double day Thursday, has also been racking up outs lately. He’s batting .219 over his last 21 games but has still managed to maintain a .270 season average. Needless to say, his production’s been average this year, but you can’t discount his value to the team given his defensive ways — he’s committed just one error at second base all year.
  • Chris Carter came up empty again tonight, and he’s now 0-for-16 with seven strikeouts in his first five games. He really just needs one hit, I think, to get into a groove of sorts. In order to do that, though, he’s got to lay off those sliders, which aren’t exactly making him look good up there.

The good news? Tomorrow is a day game, and we all know how much the A’s like the sun. They’ve won 11 of their past 12 day games and are a Major League-best 28-11 (.718) during the day. 

Saturday tidbits from Target Field

  • Jack Cust’s recent struggles were brought up during today’s pregame manager’s session, but Bob Geren really doesn’t seem all too concerned about his designated hitter. He took the positive route and mentioned his two hits last night. However, it’s really hard to ignore his strikeout looking on a 3-2 pitch with runners on second and third and just one out, which brings to mind the big picture of his recent producing slump. His third-inning RBI double in last night’s game was his first RBI in 14 games. It’s pretty well-known by now that Cust is a streaky hitter — he had 15 RBIs over his previous 10 games before that ugly stretch. But your DH, especially one who often hits in the No. 4 hole, has to be notching those hits with runners in scoring position. Geren, though, sees nothing wrong with his current approach.
  • Chris Carter told me today he’s not too worried about his career-opening hitless streak. Geren isn’t either. In fact, the A’s skipper said today, “He’s going to have a good day today. He looks confident.” We shall see, but either way, it’s still fun watching Carter get a taste of the big leagues. He said today he loves “playing in stadiums with fans” and added, “I’m not used to being in an outfield where fans are yelling at me.” I didn’t want to break the news to him that he might not see so many next week in Oakland…
  • Geren said Andrew Bailey will throw a bullpen tomorrow, and the next step for him — whether it’s another bullpen, a simulated game, a rehab assignment, etc. — will be determined by how he feels coming out of the side session. He did say, though, that a rehab assignment may not be necessary, so — assuming all goes well tomorrow — Bailey could be lifted off the DL at some point on the next homestand.
  • It seems as though there’s really no rush in getting Conor Jackson back in Oakland. He went 0-for-3 with a walk and strikeout while playing nine innings for Sacramento last night, and he was slated to play nine more for the River Cats tonight. Geren simply said he’ll be back when he’s ready. I don’t think Jackson’s presence will be a difference-maker for this club right now, but it’d be nice to see what he can do after only playing in 14 games with the A’s following the trade. At the same time, given Oakland’s injury history, it’s probably best to take it slowly with Jackson. His return would also create quite an interesting outfield situation, especially with Carter now in the mix. 

‘Minor’ Notes

Some quick updates from around the Minors:

  • Conor Jackson went 0-for-2 with an RBI in five innings of work in Arizona tonight. It marked his second rehab game, and he’s expected to continue building up innings before returning to Oakland.
  • First-round Draft pick Michael Choice collected his first pro hits tonight, as he went 2-for-4 with a triple for Vancouver, the A’s short-season Class-A club.
  • In that same game, Jason Jennings pitched two innings, allowing one run with one strikeout.
  • For Triple-A Sacramento, Travis Buck went 2-for-4 with 2 RBIs and has suddenly raised his average to .309. Unfortunately, I see Buck staying there for quite some time, given Carter’s promotion and Jackson’s impending return.
  • Also in that game, Adrian Cardenas collected a double in his first Triple-A action since being promoted from Double-A Midland today. He started at third base.

Dribblers: Injury updates and more

SEATTLE — Chris Carter’s promotion and Don Wakamatsu’s dismissal have created lots of commotion around these parts today. That doesn’t mean all other news stopped, though. Here’s some updates from beautiful Safeco Field, where Carter just went down on a swinging strikeout in his first at-bat:

  • Andrew Bailey (rib strain) endured a good side session from flat ground today, Geren said. No word yet, though, on when he’ll begin throwing off a mound.
  • It sounds like Daric Barton (shoulder spasms) should be good to go tomorrow.
  • Adam Rosales said he’s available tonight if need be. He’s suffered from ankle tendinitis for the past year, but it only recently started bugging him after the All-Star Break. Nothing major, though.
  • Conor Jackson (right hamstring) played 3 innings in Arizona on Sunday, and Geren said there were “no issues,” so he’s slated to play 5 today.
  • Matt Watson underwent an operation this morning to remove the kidney stones that were causing him severe side and back pain yesterday. Geren wasn’t sure how long his recovery process will be.

This and that:

  • Carter is widely known as being a shy personality, but today he surprised all by responding to questions with answers other than “yes” or “no.” You can tell he’s so psyched to be here, and it’s fun watching him go through the big league routine for the first time. Geren wouldn’t go into much detail — if any — regarding his playing time, but I would imagine the A’s would like to give him a long look in the outfield. I don’t think they want that kind of power sitting on the bench.
  • Jeff Larish, meanwhile, is also pretty shy, I’ve heard. But, just like Carter, I found him to be rather nice and respectful. Sounds like he was looking for a change of scenery and, while he told me it’s been a crazy couple weeks for him, he said he’s genuinely excited to be here with a young bunch. He went to Arizona State, so he knows fellow Sun Devil Travis Buck pretty well. He’s also friends with Eric Sogard, who was a freshman at ASU when he was a senior.
  • One final note, Adrian Cardenas was promoted from Double-A Midland to Sacramento today, and for good reason. He had reached base safely in 46 of his past 50 games and was hitting .347 over that stretch.

Update: Carter to be joined by Jeff Larish

Greetings from Seattle:

From what I’m hearing, we may be seeing not just one, but two, new faces in green and gold come tomorrow. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle recently reported via Twitter that Chris Carter is for sure on his way to Seattle on Monday and that Jeff Larish may be on Carter’s flight. I was just informed by a source that Larish was indeed told he’s joining the big league club tomorrow, so that makes two confirmed call-ups.

Larish was claimed off waivers by the Tigers on Tuesday and essentially tore up the PCL during his week-long stint with Sacramento, where he was hitting .417 with four homers and 15 RBIs in 24 at-bats. He plays first base, and that’s where I’m assuming he’ll be in Barton’s stead. The extent of Barton’s injury is unknown, and normally he’s one to shake things off and continue playing, but spasms anywhere are always weird and unpredictable.

The 27-year-old Larish  — originally selected by the Tigers in the fifth round
of the 2005 Draft — was named Detroit’s Minor League
Player of the Year in ’07 after leading the Eastern League with 28 home
runs and 101 RBIs, and he was rated as possessing the best power in the
International League by Baseball America in ’08. He made his big league
debut that season, batting .260 with two homers in 42 games.

Should be an interesting day tomorrow…

Coming soon to a big league park near you … Chris Carter?

Looks like I missed out on an eventful day at the Coliseum, where the injury bug seemingly came out in full force and touched upon the likes of Matt Watson (severe side/back pain), Daric Barton (left shoulder spasms) and Adam Rosales, who was apparently unavailable because of an injured ankle. Barton told MLB.com associate reporter Alex Espinoza he was fine after the game, but Watson’s injury required a trip to the hospital, so I highly doubt he made the charter to Seattle. Meanwhile, in Sacramento, Chris Carter was lifted after just one at-bat today, and while nothing has been confirmed, I would suspect — all signs point toward it — the A’s top prospect may finally be getting the call to join the big boys on the impending road trip to Seattle and Minnesota. When hearing of Watson’s injury, I figured Travis Buck would be the likely choice to take his roster spot if need be. But given the recent developments surrounding Oakland’s only two true first-base options (Barton, Rosales), it makes sense the A’s are looking for someone who can nicely fill both slots. Carter has spent most of the year at first base, and he was just recently moved to left field in an effort to see what he can do out there, so he’s obviously an option for either position.

Carter’s currently batting .262 at Sacramento after struggling for much of the first half, so while his average may still not exactly be where the Oakland brass would like, the improvements he’s made since the beginning of the season (he hit a combined .220 in May and June) are noticeable and his power numbers are undeniable: 27 home runs, 88 RBIs. He’s also got three homers and 12 RBIs over his last five games. The thing is, A’s management has always said that once Carter (and Taylor) are up, they’re up for good, or at least that’s the goal. So is this Carter’s time? Or, even if it’s not, do you let him at least get the chance to find out? We’re likely not going to find out for sure until tomorrow, so stay tuned.

…Thoughts?

A’s send Mazzaro, Taylor, Carter to Minors

Vin Mazzaro, Michael Taylor and Chris Carter, all pretty significant pieces to the A’s future puzzle, were sent down Saturday morning. Here’s part of the story that will be up at the A’s site shortly:

The news of
Mazzaro didn’t come as much of a surprise after manager Bob Geren all but ruled
him out of the mix during his daily media session Saturday morning, during
which he was asked about the way the starter battle was shaping up.

“Both are
doing a nice job,” Geren said. “We’re going to hold off until the end to
decide.”

Both presumably referred to Trevor Cahill and Gio Gonzalez, but the A’s skipper
switched subjects before saying he would have more to discuss by the end of the
day.

Minutes
later, though, Mazzaro was found packing his bags, leaving little speculation
surrounding Geren’s hush answers.

“I’m going
to go down to the Minor Leagues and work hard and get back up here,” Mazzaro
said. “I felt I had done a pretty good job, but someone’s got to go, right?”

 With Mazzaro out of the picture, all eyes will
focus on Cahill and Gonzalez in the final week of camp as the A’s continue to
trim down their roster and set the starting rotation. Oakland now has 37
players remaining in camp, including three non-roster invitees, after sending down
Mazzaro, Carter and Taylor.

The latter
two, both watched closely this spring, could very well make their big league
debuts this year, Geren said. For the time being, though, the A’s are more than
set at first base and in the outfield. Daric Barton is enjoying a successful
spring at first, where Eric Chavez is also playing regularly. As for the
outfield, Oakland has several options in the form of Gabe Gross, Travis Buck,
Eric Patterson and Jake Fox.

The A’s won’t
soon forget about Taylor or Carter, though.

“Both are
very impressive young men, obviously both on the field and off,” Geren said. “They’re
both off the chart type players. They’re guys that can create their own
opportunities and dominate at this level. I let them know just that.”

__________________________

In other news: Both Andrew Bailey and Craig Breslow, both rehabbing from minor elbow setbacks, could potentially throw in a game Sunday or Monday. … Dallas Braden received an antibiotic prescription for the red, streaky bump he found on his left shin yesterday and is hoping it’s a bug bite. He should be good to go for his next start Wednesday.
 

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