Signs Point Toward Carter Heading To New York

Prior to Tuesday’s game against Lehigh Valley, PawSox manager Ron Johnson was asked when Chris Carter was expected to be back in the starting lineup.

 

RJ answered, “Tomorrow night.”

 

He didn’t say if Carter would be getting dressed in the home or visiting clubhouse at McCoy Stadium.

 


CC in spring resize.jpg 

(photos courtesy of Kelly O’Connor)

 

By now you’ve probably seen published reports that Carter is one of two players-to-be-named-later that will go to the New York Mets in exchange for 6-time All-Star relief pitcher Billy Wagner.

 

There’s no confirmation that Carter is part of the deal from the Red Sox or Mets, but there’s plenty of circumstantial evidence.

 

Carter has been out of Pawtucket’s starting lineup with what was originally described as fatigue (he also cited a sore back) for six straight games, but Chris says he’s been ready to play since Sunday.  He took batting practice on Tuesday and was in uniform during the game – even as rumors swirled that he’s headed to New York.

 

Ironically, the Buffalo Bisons (top farm club for the Mets) are at McCoy Stadium on Wednesday, so it’s conceivable that Carter could be playing against Pawtucket.  If he is part of the deal, he would probably have to clear waivers first (which is often the case with players-to-be-named later) so that could delay the process until the two game series against Buffalo is over.

 

If Carter is part of the trade, we wish him nothing but the best with the Mets.  Chris is an outstanding hitter with a burning desire to improve his all-around game in order to have a long and productive major league career.  He’s been fantastic to Steve and me in his two years with the PawSox, and we’ve enjoyed getting to know his father and grandfather as well.

 

And if the rumors are wrong . . . it will be nice to have him back in Pawtucket’s lineup on Wednesday night.

 

* * * * *    

 

When the Red Sox traded for Alex Gonzalez, I think it was widely assumed that Boston had found its primary shortstop for the rest of the 2009 season.

 

After seeing Jed Lowrie in action for the last two nights, I’m not so sure.

 


Jed Sox resize.jpg 

Admittedly, it’s only two games, but Lowrie looks like the guy who was Boston’s Minor League Offensive Player of the Year in 2007 when he hit .298 with 47 doubles, 8 triples, and 13 HR in 133 games between Portland and Pawtucket.

 

In the first two games of his current rehab stint, Lowrie has belted 3 long home runs and just missed a fourth tater that went foul by a few feet.

 

One possible reason for Lowrie’s power surge is that he’s lifting weights again.  After having wrist surgery in late April, he was reluctant to do strength training that put strain on his wrist, but he’s starting lifting again and told me he feels much stronger.  

 

Alex Gonzalez is a dependable shortstop defensively, but a healthy Jed Lowrie is an infinitely better offensive player and could provide a significant boost to Boston’s playoff push in September.

 

* * * * *

 

George Kottaras is also expected to return to the Red Sox when rosters expand in September, and he’s hitting .368 in his current rehab assignment for the PawSox.

 


G Kott resize.jpg 

George went on the disabled list with a lower back strain on August 1st . . .  which just-so-happened to be the same day that Boston added Victor Martinez to the roster.

 

Martinez obviously took his spot (at least in the short term) as Boston’s second catcher, and I asked George if that was a bitter pill to swallow.

 

“Yes and no,” George told me.  “You understand the business and it was a great thing for the team.  The whole object is for the team to win and he’s a big piece to the puzzle to help us succeed.  Those kinds of things happen and you can’t let it affect your game or your day-to-day activities.”

 

Kottaras expects to resume his role as Tim Wakefield’s personal catcher in early September and says his rookie year with the Red Sox has been all he had hoped it would be.

 

“It’s been all that and more,” Kottaras said.  “It’s been an honor playing for the Boston Red Sox.  It’s a great organization with great fans and I’m having a good time with it.”

 

* * * * *

 

On Wednesday afternoon, I’ll have the privilege of serving as emcee of the BoSox Club luncheon at Anthony’s Pier 4 in Boston with representatives of the Red Sox and White Sox in attendance.  If by any chance you’re planning to attend, please say hello – it’s always nice to know blog readers are out there!

 

And I hope you’ll join us for the radio call on Wednesday night as the PawSox open a 2-game series against Buffalo.  The pre-game show begins at 6:50 on the PawSox radio network and PawSox.com.

3 Comments

In spring training I had the good fortune to sit right behind home plate for a few games, and I?m not sure I?ve had a better opportunity to watch players both on the field and in the dugout. I came away very impressed by how intense Chris was even in the spring contests. I vividly remember one at-bat; he seemed to live and die by every pitch, a sharp nod for the ball outside, a quick drawn-in breath for the close pitch taken for a strike. And the best part of it was, he was on deck! He was so immersed in the game that he seemed to be taking his teammate’s pitches as his own. Right along with this, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen someone watch the game so consistently and with such focus when he wasn’t on the field, whether he wasn’t in the lineup or he simply wasn’t at bat. I have no small number of shots like the one above where he was leaning over the rail, intently watching. If it turns out CC will indeed be traded, I only hope it opens doors that seemed to stay closed to him in Boston’s lineup. He deserves the chance to play.
Kelly
http://www.sittingstill.net

I wish Chris Carter well. When Lowrie and Kottaras are back with the team it will only make our bench even stronger.

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Chris Carter is the best hitter the Red Sox have in their AAA or AA farm system. He is a competitor who takes every strikeout or unsuccessful at-bat to heart, and who returns to the plate doubly determined to put his team in the W column. He is probably the hardest worker on the PawSox team, and he is a gentleman, treating the fans with respect. I have watched him closely for two seasons now, and I was upset but not surprised that he seems to be part of Theo’s Wagner acquisition plans.

I think trading him to the Mets is a mistake we will regret deeply, and for a very long time. I also believe that if this gives CC the shot at the majors that the Red Sox have denied him, perhaps he is better off there. I say that with a heavy heart, because I have loved every minute of watching him in a PawSox uniform.

Chris, if you are reading this, remember to trust your gifts. Your instincts are good and you only get into trouble at the plate when you overanalyze yourself, or beat yourself up after an unproductive at-bat. Don’t swing at the high stuff, be patient and trust in your instincts– they are good. Thank you for bringing so many of us such joy and excitement at McCoy, and please know that some of us will be following your career path carefully while wishing that we can still see you in a Red Sox uniform. You have earned our respect; now, go get that championship you so richly deserve to be part of elsewhere. I, for one, will be rooting for you with all my heart.

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