Carp says disabled list was his call
For all the times fans may have wondered why Mike Carp wasn’t in the Seattle lineup against a right-handed pitcher this season, there was a reason.
“They were trying to protect me,” Carp said. “I’d have good days and bad days with my shoulder, and for a while it got better. Then I hit a plateau.”
On the disabled list from March 29 through April 30 with a sprained right shoulder, Carp came back at less than full strength, thinking continued work and playing time would help his comeback.
It didn’t, and this week Carp landed back on the 15-day DL with inflammation in his right shoulder.
If it had been Carp’s choice, would he have continued playing through the pain?
“It was my choice,” Carp said Thursday. “I went to them and said ‘I’m not playing the way I should, I’m not helping the team, and it’s not fair for me to take the job of someone who can help.’ ”
At the plate, in 32 games, Carp batted .137 with four home runs and 12 RBI.
“I’d swing at a pitch I’d normally hit and foul it off,” Carp said. “I had some long at-bats, fouled off a lot of pitches, but my body was trying to protect itself. I’d swing and feel myself pulling off the ball just enough to miss.”
In the field, it was as bad.
“Some days my arm felt great, some days it was worthless. Against the Dodgers last weekend, I made a throw to the plate that went about 90 feet,” he said. “That was it.”
Carp, who will turn 26 later this month, was one of the bright spots for the Mariners a year ago, when he batted .276 with 12 home runs and 46 RBI in 79 games and was named the American League’s rookie of the month in August.
On opening night in Japan, Carp made a dive for a ball in left field and injured his shoulder. Nothing has gone right since.
“Part of it is I’d never been hurt before and I didn’t handle it well. I pushed to come back sooner, I tried playing through it. The team knew about it, but I’d have good games, then bad,” Carp said.
“I need rest, period,” he said. “There’s no timetable, but I’d love to be back by the All-Star break, have a great second half for the team.”
The magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) report on rookie pitcher Stephen Pryor showed a minor strain in his groin and he will likely miss only a few weeks – good news for the hard-throwing right-hander. “I’ll start playing catch Monday,” he said. “It could have been a lot worse.” … Shortstop Brendan Ryan got a second night off, and manager Eric Wedge said it was to let him work before the game, then watch from the bench for a few days. “He needed a couple of days off,” Wedge said. … After a bullpen session, Kevin Millwood showed no signs of the strained groin that took him out of Seattle’s no-hitter last week. He will start Saturday against San Francisco. … Wedge talked to his hitters before the game about batting in Safeco Field, trying to relax and inspire them. “Some of these kids are going to be playing here a long time,” Wedge said. “There’s got to be a degree of grit. That doesn’t guarantee success, but it guarantees the chance for it.”
Seattle plays host to the San Francisco Giants in a 7:10 p.m. game today that will be televised on Root Sports. Probable starters: Ryan Vogelsong (5-2, 2.26 ERA) vs. Jason Vargas (7-5, 3.90).