Casper Wells or Mike Carp?


Last night Mike Carp went 2 for 4 with a double and home run. Tonight Casper Wells went 2 for 4 with a homer and single. Neither player has been a standout this season, and neither player is representing their true potential. Still, one of them has to play, but who? Which player is going to turn things around first and give them team the best results on the field.

First of all the argument can still be made that the players should platoon. I have a few problems with this argument. One, neither players has traditional splits, as both fair well against their fellow handed persons. Secondly if you’re trying to get both or one of these two players going, it isn’t going to happen by sapping at bats from them with platoon style play. So while a platoon might seem like a feasible solution at first glance, in actuality it wouldn’t work in the Mariners favor.

So realistically the Mariners are going to have to choose. Casper or Mike. Struggling power hitting righty? Struggling power hitting lefty? Both players are strikingly similar. Even better, they have a similar number of at bats so their career stats are easily comparable. A look at the numbers isn’t all that revealing, at least not right away.

2012/ CareerMike CarpCasper Wells
wOBA.280/ .334.278/ .340
OBP.219/ .326.281/ .326
SLG.433/ .443.345/ .460
BABIP.136/ .321.333/ .326
ISO.267/ .178.138/ .202
K18.8/ 23.334.4/ 27.2
BB6.3/ 7.39.4/ 7.3

For this season, ABs and wOBA are almost exactly the same. All things after that, are drastically different. Everything 2012 is very small sample size, which means many of these stats have yet to stabilize.  With that in mind this is only an attempt to figure out who the Mariners should stick with going forward. To start things off, Carp has been terribly unlucky. His .136 BABIP is ridiculously low for a guy with a .321 career average in the same stat. So my one pitch in favor of Carp is that I will be interested to see what happens when that stat stabilizes. However, this isn’t an 2008 Adrian Beltre situation, Carp isn’t hitting any line drives, (he is sitting a horrid 8.3%), so while he is getting unlucky, this isn’t the hitting-laser-beams-straight-into-infielders-gloves unlucky. Wells isn’t much better in the line drive department, both players are well below their career averages.

So what gives one the edge over the other? Nothing really. There is nothing right now that can make you say Carp should start over Wells, or that Wells should start over Carp. This is simply going to take more time. Both players are going to have to get some more at bats under their belts before a real decision can be made.

My gut, which is entirely worthless, leans towards Wells. He doesn’t suffer from extreme splits and after his initial audition I want to see what he is capable of doing with regular playing time. My brain however says Carp. He isn’t going to continue to suffer from BABIP woes and his LD% isn’t going to stay at horrifically low levels. Carp’s luck is going to eventually turn around and so are the numbers. Wells career numbers are slightly better than Carp in every department, but Carp just rediscovered himself. His numbers don’t truly reflect the new version of Carp.

This is tough.

The Mariners should get them both in the lineup everyday here over the next few games, see if one of them takes off. With time on his side, I have to believe that Carp could come out and grab this thing, with Wells being the unfortunate recipient of a wooden plank or two. Wells has really been given a raw deal this entire season. After a poor spring, he wasn’t even given a chance to play and now he is having to play catch up. Having to play catch up with irregular at bats is a nearly impossible task. Wells is swimming against current as he has all season.

I have no idea who should play over who. The sample is just too small from both players. This is just something I wanted to plant in the back of your minds; something to think about. Perhaps you can draw upon this article some time in the future.