Mike Carp Slims Down (1)


Q.  What has the mainframe said about Carp in previous years?

A.  Getting that first glimpse in 2009, we opined that he did everything right ... except that he had a static, lifeless swing.  This left him doomed, IMHO, as a projectable 110 OPS+ type 1B with bad defense, and who needs that.  It's an MLB(TM) player who will play for the Royals.

This winter, we noticed wayyyyyyyyyy late -- but earlier than anybody else, other than HQ :- ) -- that Carp had developed serious plus power in Cheney.  And that the intersection of these two ideas put Carp on the radar.  This put his SSI projection at (loosely) 120 OPS+ as a platoon player, with a decent ML career.

On May 15, SSI grokked that the Stars & Scrubs carousel had two Rainiers in it deserving long looks, those being Carp and Ackley.  We pushed forward the silly idea that Carp should play LF for the Mariners.  Amazing:  in only two-three weeks, the blog-o-sphere generally accepted this concept, without enthusiasm.  Imagine if this had been 2009?


Q.  What other Scrubs has SSI recommended or panned this year?

A.  Full Disclosure Dept.

CARLOS PEGUERO - thought he was a writeoff.  Wedge's fondness for him continues to bemuse

MIKE WILSON - thought he was a reasonable flip of a card in the Stars & Scrubs hold 'em game (as opposed to being a complete waste of time).  Jury still out, obviously

CHRIS GIMENEZ - SSI campaigning for his replacement

MICHAEL SAUNDERS - thought this winter that he'd be fine in CF, with an eventual 3,000 AB's as a 3/4 OF in the bigs, not with Seattle ... was hopeful that he had a (30-40%) shot at .260 with 25+ homers prorated.  The Mick quickly disabused me of that notion.  Big hit for SSI on the defensive assessment - horrible wipeout on the offensive end

GREG HALMAN - did not even mention his callup.  His first two AB's dropped our jaws.  Now opine that he should stay here as part of a rotating OF


Q.  Do the Mariners need to be calling these guys right the first time?  Is it to their eternal shame that they tried Peguero and Wilson before Carp?

A.  No, that's Stars & Scrubs.

The whole beauty of S&S is that you get unlimited twist cards.  The M's are going to run through card turns and one of these days they're going to hit the Ace of Spades.  People will say they got lucky.  Absolutely not.  

It's the design of the Big-$$ Stars roster paradigm to give you those endless card flips on the bottom half of the roster.


Q.  So, does Carp look any different?

A.  Not "different."  He looks antithetical.

In the radio pregame, he said that his home runs now were due to (1) strengthing his core (!!), (2) staying balanced in the box, and (3) using the whole field.  

And for once, if you can possibly believe it, the athlete gave us exactly the truth about his development.


Mike Carp used to look like a Tino Martinez if that Tino could only bench 150 lbs.  Stiff, mechanical, flat swing, no quickness, no drive ... just verrrrrrry inert, static, and lifeless (though intelligent and focused) in the box.

He came up yesterday and ARE YOU KIDDING ME!  Now:

  • He has lost 25+ lbs. (as is reported, and as is obvious)
  • He has a bee-yoo-tee-ful Darryl Strawberry east-west bat waggle, timed like Ichiro to the pitch
  • He has as much throughspeed (and followthrough) as Justin Smoak
  • He crouches and balances in the box preparing a drive to CF, like Hideki Matsui does
  • He's cat-quick during the pitch

He's not improved.  He's a new player.  If Carp hits it big, there is your first big stock payout on the "core strengthening" program.

Reminds very much of Godzilla now, except (1) Carp has voluntarily discarded the 1.00 EYE and (2) Carp lets the bat fly harder than Godzilla does.


Q.  What was that base hit yesterday?

A.  92 jam pitch, shown by the tracker to be 8 inches inside... the catcher set up on the black and reached way in for it.

Carp tucked the elbow against the rib cage, whipped the bat head out in front (to avoid catching the handle) and lined it down the RF line.  He finished with a creative one-hand followthrough, indicating that he'd adapted to the pitch spontaneously.

So that makes three Mariners capable of that swing:  Smoak, Ichiro, and Carp.

Then there was a fly ball to CF and don't remember the other AB.



Q.  Did Brad Bird get paid for using Jay Cutler's image in the Incredibles?

A.  No - Bird just wanted a share of Cutler's market in the "I'm 5'9" and 300 because I drink ProTex" ads.  BTW, if roids amuse you, here's the greatest article ever written on them.  Savor the article first, and then check the very last table at the bottom, the first three names.

We're not implying that Carp attaches to this subject, seriously.  Carp has tapered, and has gotten himself a Darryl Strawberry bat waggle.  Carp is an Earl Weaver disciple.




Steen#'s picture

I watch sports to see amazing things. To see athletes maximize their potential and entertain me with it. I'd say Barry Bonds did both of those things better than anyone during his career.
Bonds *maximized* his potential, no one can question that,  I wish the Mariners had more players equally determined to do the same.

glmuskie's picture

I'm no where near the baseball analyst you are Doc, but - as I posted at MC - After seeing Carp's second AB where he pulled that double, down the right field line, I said, 'OK, I'm sold'.
1st pitch - FB (I think - mighta been change) painted on the outside corner, calmly taken by Carp
2nd pitch - FB painted on the outside corner, calmly taken by Carp.
So, two perfect pitches, not what Carp wanted.  Now he's in 2 strike mode.
3rd pitch - FB in the exact.same.spot.  Carp fouls it off.
4th pitch - extreme jam pitch, Calmly swiped at for the double.
I just loved how he was in control of that AB despite the pitcher - Floyd - basically executing exactly how hw wanted to.  And to cover that pitch waaaay inside, and look calm and relaxed doing it, I was impressed.


Can be found here.
There were some similarities between slimmed-down Carp and the video I had been watching of 2nd-round pick Brad Miller.
Carp brings his hands down when the pitcher goes into the windup and Miller leaves his up, but the swings are fairly similar to my amateur eye.  There's good slo-mo of Miller at the very end around the 3:50 mark.

wufners's picture

A Brad Bird reference on one of my fav Mariner sites?
Well done, sir.  :)


Cartoons have gotten a lot different since I was a kid.

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