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.