On Friday, outfielder Brett Carroll joined the PawSox with exactly one month to go in the regular season. Let’s review his season-to-date.
December 7 – Signs as a free agent with Kansas City and goes to spring training in Surprise, Arizona.
March 22 – Traded to Milwaukee
March 24 – Assigned to Triple-A Nashville
July 21 – Promoted to Milwaukee
July 30 – Designated for assignment
August 3 – Refuses minor league assignment and elects to become a free agent.
August 5 – Signs with Boston and joins Pawtucket.
When I introduced myself to Brett before Friday’s game, I had an obvious question: Where is all of your stuff?
“It’s been a crazy year,” Carroll said with a laugh. “I spent my first six years with the Marlins organization and now, over the last four or five months, I’ve been with three teams. I guess you start to get used to that when you become a free agent. I’ve had stuff in Nashville, stuff in Arizona…I finally gathered everything together now and it’s all back in my hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee. Now I just have one suitcase full of stuff, so I’m good to go from here on out.”
Let’s hope that he unpacks and stays for awhile.
In his first game with Pawtucket, Carroll gunned down a base runner from right field, had an RBI single in his second at-bat, stole a base, and ultimately delivered a 2-out, 2-run single in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the PawSox a dramatic 6-5 win over Buffalo. It marked the third time in the last four games that Pawtucket trailed by a run going into the bottom of the ninth inning before scoring two runs to win.
“I was trying not to do too much and just be simple at the plate,” Carroll told reporters after the game. “Thankfully, I was able to come up with a chance to win it and came through.”
Carroll spent most of this season with Nashville of the Pacific Coast League where he batted .281/.356/.469 with 15 HR and 9 SB in 93 games. The 28-year-old has also spent parts of 5 seasons in the big leagues withFlorida (2007-2010) and Milwaukee (2011), batting .203 with 5 HR in 175 games.
“I’ve just always enjoyed this game and love to get after it every night,” Carroll said. “I might play sometimes like I have my hair on fire. In my time with Florida, I think that defense really helped me get to the big leagues. I know that pitchers appreciate it if you play good defense behind them, so I really try to take pride in that. Offensively, it’s been a good year because I’ve been able to get every day at-bats. I’d say that I’m a gap-to-gap hitter, but hopefully fans will see that I just like to get after it and play the game the way that it’s supposed to be played.”
Carroll is a right-handed hitter, giving him hope of a September call-up since Darnell McDonald is currently the only right-handed hitting outfielder on Boston’s roster.
“The fact that I am a right-handed hitter was intriguing to them I guess,” Brett said. “Hopefully I can put myself into a position to get an opportunity like that, but right now, I’m just excited to get back on the field.
“I just felt like there could be some other options when I chose to leave Milwaukee. They were getting pretty crowded in the outfield over there and I thought I would explore free agency. In the past, there’s been some interest from Boston and I was hoping they were still interested. Thankfully they were, and here I am today.”
Carroll has played in one game at Fenway Park as a member of the Florida Marlins in interleague play in 2009.
“I took a camera and just like a spectator,” Brett said. “I got there early and went around and took some pictures. I went inside the Monster and it was one of those times where I was like, ‘Man, I want to get back to playing at this place.’ Lord willing that happens. I think it was a rainy night and it was still packed, and they still sang ‘Sweet Caroline’ in the 7th inning like it was nobody’s business. It was a fun experience.”
I’m sure there is room in the suitcase for a Red Sox uniform.
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The PawSox continue their 8-game homestand as they host Buffalo on Saturday night at 6:05. I hope you’ll join us for radio coverage beginning with the pre-game show at 5:50 on the PawSox radio network and pawsox.com.
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