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Mike Carp makes first career pitching appearance in loss to Yankees 04.25.14 at 12:30 am ET
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In an inning of brevity for the Red Sox, Mike Carp walked to the center of the diamond as he made his first career pitching appearance during 14-5 onslaught at the hands of the Yankees Thursday evening.

Carp, who has played both left field and first base this season, came in to pitch the ninth inning as part of manager John Farrell‘s attempt to save up his bullpen. Farrell had already utilized relievers Burke Badenhop, Craig Breslow and Edward Mujica in the game after Felix Dubront lasted a mere 2 2/3 innings on the mound.

“Any time you end up with a position player on the mound, it’s not been a good night,” Farrell said.

While Carp has not pitched since high school, the right-hander limited the Yankees to one run, did not give up a hit and even forced Brian McCann to hit into a double play. Carp’s problem was that he also walked five batters during the inning.

“Obviously I’m not trying to be too serious out there,” Carp said. “[I'm] trying to get some outs. Unfortunately, you end up walking a few guys, but it’s definitely a cool experience.”

Many of the Yankees batters watched as Carp’s fastball, which capped out in the low-80s, and his knuckleball, which went as high as the mid-60s, skirted just outside the plate.

“Hopefully that’s because of the movement on the ball,” Carp said. “Nobody hit the ball hard, so that was a plus.”

Carp added that although it was a disappointing lost, he enjoyed his time on the mound.

“It was fun,” Carp said. “Just a rough ball game, but like I said, to get out there and have a little kid’s dream of pitching in a big-league ballgame, especially as a hitter.”

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Closing time: Red Sox overcome 5-0 deficit, walk off with win over Orioles 04.20.14 at 10:44 pm ET
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Dustin Pedroia celebrated scoring the walkoff run in the bottom of the ninth. (AP)

Dustin Pedroia celebrated scoring the walk-off run in the bottom of the ninth. (AP)

Similar to many wins last season, the Red Sox worked the count against the opposing starter in the Orioles’ Ubaldo Jimenez, eventually forcing him from the game in the middle of the sixth inning after throwing 107 pitches.

Once the bullpen was called on, the Red Sox rallied for three runs, overcoming a 5-0 deficit to eventually come away with a 6-5 walk-off win Sunday night at Fenway Park.

For the most part Jimenez shut down the Red Sox offense, only allowing four hits in 5 2/3 innings, but once he was tiring in the sixth inning Jonny Gomes took advantage, belting a three-run homer into the Monster seats to cut the deficit to 5-3.

The Red Sox scored twice (both unearned) in the seventh on bad Orioles defense as Baltimore committed two errors in the frame, allowing the Sox to tie the game. With the bases loaded David Ortiz delivered a RBI single to right and then Mike Napoli‘s grounder to third was thrown home by Jonathan Schoop, but couldn’t be handled by Matt Wieters allowing Grady Sizemore to score. Sizemore reached earlier in the inning when shortstop Ryan Flaherty dropped the ball on a transfer when attempting to turn a double play, and with the new rule this season the runner was ruled safe.

That set the stage for ninth inning when Dustin Pedroia ripped one off the Monster that needed to be reviewed for a potential homer. The replay was deemed inconclusive and the call of a double on the field stood. Pedroia then took third on a wild pitch, and the O’s intentionally walked Ortiz and calling on a new pitcher, Darren O’Day. O’Day then hit Napoli, which led to Mike Carp‘s pinch-hit appearance and a walk-off error. Carp’s line drive to left was caught, but the throw home went over Wieters’ head and then Pedroia, who fake tagged on the play, was able to scamper home for the winning run.

“I broke real quick and basically fell so he would’ve had a chance to throw me out at home,” Pedroia said. “It was just one of those things, great positioning on their part. It worked out for us, it was kind of a crazy deal.”

Here is what went right (and wrong) in the Red Sox‘ win Sunday night.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

– On top of recording the first hit for the Red Sox in the fourth inning, Gomes also delivered the first Red Sox runs with a three-run homer into the Monster seats in the sixth inning. It was his second homer of the season and third career home run off Jimenez, as he 7-for-18 lifetime against the right-hander.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Dustin Pedroia, jake peavy, Jonny Gomes, mike carp
Red Sox Opening Day lineup: With Shane Victorino out, Mike Carp starts in left 03.31.14 at 11:00 am ET
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Mike Carp (AP)

Mike Carp will be pressed into service Monday. (AP)

BALTIMORE — With Shane Victorino landing on the disabled list on Monday morning, Mike Carp will get an unexpected Opening Day start in left field for the Red Sox against the Orioles. Carp hit .216 with a .286 OBP, .471 slugging mark and three homers in 22 games (51 at-bats) for the Red Sox in spring training. The left-handed hitter has struggled, however, against Orioles righty Chris Tillman, posting a 1-for-11 mark with one walk and one strikeout against the towering Baltimore pitcher. Victorino’s absence could prove palpable, as he enjoys considerable success against the O’s starter, having posted a .364/.417/.636 line against Tillman.

Carp will bat sixth and play left, resulting in a realignment of both the batting order and defense. With anticipated two-hole hitter Victorino out of the lineup, the Red Sox are moving their anticipated three through six hitters up a spot in the batting order. Meanwhile, leadoff man Daniel Nava will cross from left to right, with Carp in left.

This is Carp’s second career Opening Day start. He will hope it goes considerably better than his first, when he suffered a shoulder subluxation while diving for a ball against the A’s in 2012, resulting in nearly five weeks on the DL and a season in which he never had his swing.

For complete batter vs. starting pitcher matchups, click here. For comprehensive Red Sox Opening Day coverage, visit weei.com/redsox.

RED SOX LINEUP Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: mike carp, Shane Victorino,
Red Sox notes: Third base a possibility for Mike Carp? 02.23.14 at 2:19 pm ET
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Mike Carp (AP)

Mike Carp (AP)

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Mike Carp offered the Red Sox tremendous production in limited playing time in 2013. Acquired in the middle of spring training from the Mariners for cash, he saw action in 86 games (243 plate appearances) as a first base and left field reserve as well as a pinch-hitter, slamming the ball for a .296 average, .362 OBP and .523 slugging mark.

“We always evaluated the swing as a low-maintenance compact swing, which we felt like, in the role, had a better chance to be productive. We didn’t know to what level,” said manager John Farrell. “He probably exceeded our expectations when you look at the line that he put up last year, but to his credit, we talked about this the first day here with the group, he didn’t get an at-bat for the first nine games of the season. We tend to forget how young Mike Carp is. He’s still a young player. To be in a bench role, as he was — because he can probably start for other teams, we would think; he’s a good player — he accepted the role, he formed a routine that allowed him to be prepared and he was in the game. … He performed well in a difficult situation.”

His production merited more playing time. But it wasn’t available. Mike Napoli was a fixture at first until he required rest in September. Left field was manned capably by Jonny Gomes and Daniel Nava, a tremendously productive platoon.

All of those players are back with the Sox this year. Yet the team wants to see Carp have more avenues to playing time, and so, manager John Farrell suggested, the 27-year-old could get some work at another position this spring. Which one?

“Stay tuned,” said Farrell. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: chris capuano, mike carp, spring training 2014, Will Middlebrooks
Mike Carp says he has no desire to be traded 02.18.14 at 10:20 am ET
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Mike Carp (AP)

Mike Carp (AP)

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Mike Carp could be forgiven if he wanted to prioritize personal accomplishment at this stage of his career. The 27-year-old proved enormously productive in a limited role in 2013, hitting .296 with a .362 OBP, .523 slugging mark and nine homers in 86 games. Undoubtedly, it would be interesting to see what kind of production he could offer over the course of regular playing time.

But even though such a role is not immediately available to him in Boston — Carp instead represents a strong left-handed bat who gives the Sox depth at first base, in left field and at DH — he’s not going to beg to be sent elsewhere. Carp relished his role as a contributor to a championship team in 2013, and he’s content to remain in it in 2014 in hopes of assisting the Sox’ efforts to repeat as champions.

“This is where I want to be. I want to be able to contribute any way I can this year, so whatever role I have to be in, I’m happy to take that and go about my business every day,” said Carp. “My agent talks. You can’t help but hear. Your buddies will say to you, ‘You might be going somewhere else.’ But this is the only place for me. To go out and compete with these guys on the field every day, that’s all you can ask for.”

Given that Carp was designated for assignment by the Mariners at this time a year ago and that he was in limbo until the Red Sox acquired him for cash, the experience of feeling at home in Boston — even in a part-time role — made an extraordinary impact on the player and defined his goals for the coming year.

“It was amazing. To come over from where I was and mesh with these guys and to go about the winning ways that everybody contributes and pulls for each other was a lot of fun,” said Carp. “Last year was last year. It’s 2014 now. We had no expectations last year. Now we have some expectations with that World Series title under our belt. We’re going to go out and try to win every day. That’s the plan. That’s what we did last year. There’s no reason we couldn’t do it again this year.”

Read More: mike carp, spring training 2014,
Red Sox face decisions on Andrew Bailey, Ryan Kalish and others 12.02.13 at 12:26 pm ET
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The Red Sox must decide on Monday whether to offer right-hander Andrew Bailey arbitration to secure his services for 2014. (AP)

The Red Sox must decide on Monday whether to offer right-hander Andrew Bailey arbitration to secure his services for 2014. (AP)

A midnight deadline looms for teams to tender contracts to the players on their 40-man roster who, with less than six years of big league service time, remain under team control. In the case of the Red Sox, that means five mostly straightforward decisions on arbitration-eligible players as well as some additional decision regarding players who are not yet arbitration-eligible but whose roster spots are in question at a time when the Red Sox will need to round out their major league roster with additional players.

First, the arbitration-eligible players: left-handed relievers Franklin Morales and Andrew Miller as well as right-hander Junichi Tazawa all project to make less than $2 million through salary arbitration, a modest sum given their abilities. Miller is expected to be healthy in 2013 after he underwent season-ending foot surgery for a torn ligament last July; his stuff was among the most dominant of any left-hander’s in baseball prior to the injury. Tazawa endured some ups and downs but still offers excellent bang for the buck as a late-innings right-hander who attacks the strike zone and gets swings and misses. Morales (2-2, 4.62 ERA in 20 games and 25 1/3 innings) had a disappointing year after his strong showing in 2012, but his upside (a left-hander with three swing-and-miss pitches) is such that he represents a worthwhile investment in his third year of arbitration-eligibility. First baseman/outfielder Mike Carp may assume a growing role with the Red Sox if Mike Napoli leaves in free agency; given his tremendous offensive production against right-handed pitchers in 2013, he’s a lock to get tendered. Newcomer Burke Badenhop will also be tendered. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: andrew miller, Brayan Villarreal, Burke Badenhop, franklin morales
Red Sox lineup will feature Mike Napoli, possibly Jonny Gomes (and no Daniel Nava) against Justin Verlander 10.14.13 at 7:38 pm ET
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Mike Napoli will be back in the lineup for Game 3 of the ALCS. (AP)

Mike Napoli will be back in the lineup for Game 3 of the ALCS. (AP)

DETROIT — The Tigers will feature their third straight starter who racked up 200 or more punchouts this year in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series on Tuesday when Justin Verlander takes the mound. To counter him, the Sox lineup will feature Mike Napoli (who sat in favor of Mike Carp in Game 2 against Max Scherzer) with manager John Farrell opening the door to the possibility of having Jonny Gomes make a second straight start in left, something that would likely relegate Daniel Nava to the bench for a second straight right-handed starter.

“We’ll probably be back to a similar lineup we saw in Game 1,” said Farrell. “The one thing that we can’t fully measure is the intangibles that Jonny Gomes brings.  And so the full lineup tomorrow is still yet to be decided.  But that’s another thing that’s being factored in here, considered.

“The one thing that might fly under the radar with Jonny is he’s a smart player. Much like we talked about with the will to succeed on [Dustin Pedroia's] part on second base, it’s very similar to Jonny. So he can bring an overall personality to a team when he’s in the lineup versus when he’s in the dugout,” Farrell added. “These are the things at this point in time in the year I think you have to consider strongly with the attitude and the makeup that we present on the field.”

The notion of playing Napoli (a .304/.429/.435 hitter with a homer, five walks and five strikeouts in 28 career plate appearances against Verlander) over Carp (0-for-5, 1 walk, 1 strikeout) is fairly straightforward. The decision with Gomes vs. Nava is more complex, given that Gomes is 0-for-9 with three walks and three strikeouts in 13 career plate appearances against Verlander while Nava is 1-for-3 with a double, a walk and a strikeout in four career plate appearances against the right-hander. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: daniel nava, Jonny Gomes, mike carp, mike napoli
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