A little follow-up on Chris Carter’s major league debut and other A’s news …
–Carter is starting in left field and batting seventh tonight in the series opener against Seattle. Surely, if he turns into the hitter the A’s expect, Carter won’t see many games in the No. 7 hole. But this takes a little pressure off him since the expectations are understandably high for the player ranked as the A’s top prospect.
Manager Bob Geren said he envisions Carter seeing all of his time in left field for now, though he wouldn’t give a direct answer when asked if Carter would play every day. Whatever … There’s no way this guy was called up to sit on the bench. You figure he’s going to start every day unless he struggles mightily. Daric Barton is not in the lineup, so Jeff Larish (also promoted with Carter) gets the nod at first tonight. Barton, who injured his left trapezius muscle (between the shoulder and neck) and left yesterday’s game, said he’s feeling better and that he’s available to pinch hit. Regardless, Geren says Carter isn’t likely to play first with Barton and Larish both on the roster.
Carter is one of the most soft-spoken players I know, but he couldn’t keep the smile off his face while talking to reporters today. And he probably said more in his five-minute chat than in every past interview I’ve done with him combined. He said he could barely sleep last night, having already gotten the news he’d be flying out this morning to join the big club. As for his steady improvement at the plate with Triple-A Sacramento: “It was just getting adjusted to how people pitched me, and getting adjusted to the league. I’m feeling good now.” Geren feels Carter can handle left field fine, even though he just started playing there regularly about two weeks ago. A’s outfield coach Todd Steverson took Carter out to the field early for a little individual instruction before batting practice.
–Other notes: Andrew Bailey had a good throwing session today, Geren said. … Adam Rosales, battling tendinitis in his right ankle, is available off the bench.
Here’s the lineups … and I gotta say that just seeing Carter’s name in there makes Oakland’s starting nine look a little more formidable:
A’s — Crisp CF, Davis RF, Suzuki C, Cust DH, Kouzmanoff 3B, Ellis 2B, Carter LF, Larish 1B, Pennington SS; Mazzaro RHP.
Mariners — Ichiro RF, Figgins 2B, Kotchman 1B, Branyan DH, Gutierrez CF, Lopez 3B, Langerhans LF, Moore C, Wilson SS; Fister RHP.