Ha ha ha! How about those puns in the headline?
Seriously, though, Mike Carp is making the most of his call up this time around. While his performance isn’t sustainable at this level, it’s still a peak at how he can perform for this team moving forward.
His first stint didn’t last long back when the team was still contending. He played in 15 games in June, posting a triple slash of .200/.333/.257 before being sent back down so that Carlos Peguero wouldn’t lose any playing time. He hit no homers during that time. Sad face.
Since coming back up, he’s played in 26 games and posted a .368/.401/.613 line. He’s chipped in 6 homers. Happy face!
His BABIP of .442 during his hot streak that has included the current major league leading 16 game hit-streak is the primary culprit. One thing I don’t like about just looking at advanced statistics, though, is that we sometimes forget that these are humans. There is a chance that at age 25, Carp has figured something out and is maturing into a decent hitter.
Of course expecting that BABIP to continue is silly, but shrugging off his hot streak and remaining down on his future performance is also silly to me. Yeah, PCL offense is way up. Yeah, he’s been missing lots of gloves.
So, could he at least be a league average DH?
Among regular designated hitters this season (400 PA minimum), .275/.347/.422 is the average slash line. Michael Young has been good and Adam Dunn has been bad.
I don’t know. Purely using his 2011 AAA and MLB numbers, counting for regression and improvements, I think it’s within the realm of possibility. His average has never been at the heights of those league average numbers, but his OBP and slugging have been closer to the neighborhood.
The Mariners will have a little money to spend this off-season. DH types are easier to find than quality outfielders and third baseman. Carp could be flipped while his value is high, or their recent surplus of outfielders could be used to bring in a player at one of those higher need areas. If the latter happens (or if neither happens), I say let it ride with Carp at DH.
Maybe he’s figured something out. Maybe he hasn’t. I’d much rather the club spend to find a better solution for a player who fields than a player who just bats, though.