Mike Carp is shaggy and happy.
He’s hitting .305 with a .977 OPS (on-base plus slugging) for the first-place Boston Red Sox. Not a bad gig for someone the Seattle Mariners designated for assignment in February before trading for a player to be named or cash.
Carp’s facial hair could use some grooming, but his swing is in a groove. The Red Sox have been able to use him in specific situations throughout the season.
Carp, who hits left-handed, has 111 at-bats against right-handers this season. He has hit .327 with seven home runs in those instances.
He has just 18 at-bats against left-handers and is hitting .222 against them.
“I’m in a limited role, but I know my role,” Carp said. “You’re going to have the opportunity to go out there, you’re going to be playing this day, versus not knowing when I was going to be playing or up in the big leagues (while with Seattle). Definitely eases the stress level of going to the field every day.”
Carp was the Mariners’ starting left fielder last season before injuring his shoulder trying to make a diving catch during the season-opening series in Japan. He ended up with just 164 at-bats and hit .213.
As the Mariners made moves throughout the winter, Carp anticipated the end of his time in Seattle.
“I was disappointed it took until the last day,” Carp said of being designated for assignment. “I saw the moves they made and knew I wasn’t going to be part of it. It was rough going into spring 10 days late after being designated and being in limbo the first few days of camp. But, got a great opportunity here in Boston. They’re giving me a pretty good look, and it’s been a lot of fun.”
CAPPS BACK TO TACOMA
Carter Capps had been hit hard for a month. Really hard.
Capps was sent to Tacoma on Thursday when Erasmo Ramirez was called up. Capps has a 6.37 earned-run average and a 1.67 WHIP, and batters hit .318 against him.
“He only has like 68, 69 innings in the minor leagues,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. “This guy got here so quick. I think he learned a great deal. There’s a couple things mechanically that we want him to work on. It’s the right thing for him to go down right now. It’s a tough thing to come up here and work and try to make adjustments or changes and compete at the same time — for a young player.
“I think with him, go down, get himself righted, catch his breath a little bit. Pitch some down there. He’s going to be a part of this thing. He’s just too big and has too much physical strength and arm speed and velocity … still trying to put that slider or cutter away when he needs to and have enough confidence in the change-up. Just needs to go down and do that.”
ZUNINO, CHAVEZ DINGED
Outfielder Endy Chavez strained his right groin Thursday when running out a fourth-inning bunt. He said after the game that he was sore and wasn’t sure when he would be ready again.
Catcher Mike Zunino took a crisp foul ball off the inside of his right knee in the 10th. He was sprawled on the ground for a few seconds before sitting up. He remained in the game and said afterward he put some ice on it and would be fine.
BONDERMAN CUT LOOSE
The Mariners outrighted the contract of right-hander Jeremy Bonderman to the minors. He declined the outright and chose to become a free agent.
Bonderman was 1-3 with a 4.93 ERA for the Mariners this season in seven starts.
Mariners left-hander Joe Saunders (7-8, 4.51 ERA) will start the opener of a three-game series against the Angels at 7:10 p.m. Friday at Safeco Field. Los Angeles will start right-hander Jerome Williams (5-4, 4.16). The game will be broadcast on Root Sports and 710-AM.firstname.lastname@example.org blog.thenewstribune.com/mariners @Todd_Dybas