Animal in the House

Chris “The Animal” Carter is finally a Met.

Carter — who had been acquired for Billy Wagner in a late-season 2009 deal with the Red Sox — has been promoted to the big club. Veteran pinch-hitter Frank Catalanotto was DFA’d to make room for Carter on the roster.

I’m very pleased to see Carter get his just due, after doing everything he could to earn a job and more. At the same time, I’m a little sad to say goodbye to Catalanotto, even if he was hitting only .160 and even if 99% of the fan base wanted him gone. Why? Because Gary Matthews Jr. remains on the roster, complete with his .136 batting average and 18 strikeouts in 44 at-bats. I realize it’s helpful to have a defensive-minded outfielder backing up the starters, but jeez louise — will his glove really make up for striking out nearly fifty percent of the time? I’m still trying to figure out why the Mets sent both Jeremy Reed and Cory Sullivan packing, in return for the right to trade Brian Stokes for GMJ.

But this is about the Animal, who suits up on Tuesday in Flushing. With Scott Olsen starting for the Nats, it’s unlikely we’ll see Carter in the starting lineup, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get a start on Tuesday against righthander Craig Stammen — particularly if Jason Bay and Jeff Francoeur continue to slump. The outfielder corners would appear to be the only opportunity for Carter to get semi-regular playing time, considering how well Ike Davis is doing at 1B. Let’s hope he isn’t used the way Catalanotto was — strictly as a pinch-hitter. It would be a waste to give him only three swings a night. If given a chance, Carter might prove to be one of those late bloomers, in the same mold as Travis Hafner, Carlos Pena, and Nelson Cruz. We’ll never know until he gets a fair shot.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. gary s. May 10, 2010 at 11:56 pm
    he should have made the team out of spring training.let’s hope manuel isn;t afraid to give him some platoon time with francouer.i’m starting to see why the braves gave up on frenchy.i love his attitude and toughness and his defense in right field but he’s strictly a mistake hitter and swings at anything.12 for his last 80.there were a lot of games the last few weeks against tough righties where carter could have given him a rest and maybe gotten a few big hits ala ike davis davis to spark the team.gibe 3 ab’s against tough righties and bring in frenchy for defense in the 8th inning in close games.i’m curious to see how this goes down.
  2. sincekindergarten May 11, 2010 at 6:33 am
    We’ll see how Carter does. Maybe he’ll have the same effect on the team that Ike Davis did–I sure hope so! With Olsen going tonight, it might be tomorrow’s game before we see Carter there. We’ll definitely see Carter in Florida, IMO.

    Francoeur’s attitude has caught on in the Mets’ clubhouse, it would seem. I think the ejections of the last two games have shown this. Wright and Reyes went right after the umps. Wright had a case, Reyes didn’t, IMO. But it’s the hard-nosed, never-say-die ‘tude that this team needs to have.

  3. isuzudude May 11, 2010 at 8:07 am
    Hey, will you look at that – Omar Minaya is alive! This has been an obvious roster move for a month now. I really do hope they give Carter a fair shake at earning a permanent spot on the club.

    Next up in Omar’s DFA sights should be GMJ. At least Brian Stokes is struggling with the Angels – it makes the pill of acquiring such a bum like Matthews a little less painful to swallow.

  4. Mike May 11, 2010 at 9:41 am
    The next move should come when Igarashi returns. Several options when that happens next week.

    1. Send down one of Acosta, Valdes, or Mejia (we wish) and put him back in the 8th.

    2. Keep the bullpen intact but move Takahashi to the starting rotation in place of Ollie, sending him to AAA to work on things (or DL)

    3. Combo of 1 and 2. Move Ken to starting rotation, send one of Acosta, Valdes, or Mejia down, and move Perez to pen.

    Don’t know which is best but one of those three will happen unless I missed something.

    Also…. Celebrate! The Animal finally gets his shot. Yes, he needs to start 2-3 times a week. I think that defense is important at Citi Field and his starts should be fewer there (or exclusively in LF, but Bay is paid to play, so that isn’t likely to happen). So I would start him on road trips in less challenging OFs more often then in NY. This is fine with me. I think resting Bay or Frenchy is more acceptable on the road anyway. I think we should reasonably expect him to produce (I wont try to put numbers on it) but it all depends on how he adjusts to a part time roll.

  5. Mic May 11, 2010 at 5:49 pm
    In fairness, Omar gave Frank a month which was good out of respect, and Frank could come back if he lets Omar send him to the buff’s. Also (Rubin) points out that GMJ was a DFA candidate which I would have prefered. Pirdie is a legit OF option.

    I hope Carter can hit. If he can ALOT of these close losses could well become wins.

    ALSO: How about a start for Tatis (tonite?), Carter in RF (tonite?) and dropping Bay down in the order (5th?).

    as for Omar? Shhh Starting pitcher….