Miami Marlins: 5 potential 4th outfielder candidates
May 4, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox left fielder Mike Carp (37) leaves the batter box after hitting a single during the fifth inning against the Oakland Athletics at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Mike Carp was somewhat of the lost man as a member of the Boston Red Sox crowded outfield in 2014 and his performance showed when he posted a .198/.320/.279 in Boston with limited at-bats. He spent most of the season requesting a trade and it could be said that his uneasiness with his situation hurt his on-field production. Unfortunately, his situation actually got worse once he landed in Texas, hitting .125/.217/.125 in just 46 plate appearances for the Rangers.
That said, Carp is only one year removed from a solid reserve season with the Red Sox, when in 2013 he posted a .296/.362/.523 slash line with 9 home runs, 43 RBI, and a wRC+ of 139. Additionally, there is reason to believe that this 2014 performance was as much to blame on bad luck as it was the role he was serving, as he put up an atrocious .227 Batting Average on Balls In Play.
A career .254/.330/.414 hitter with a wRC+ 107, Carp’s 2014 season looks more like an anomaly that it does a look at what he can provide moving forward. In fact, Steamer predicts him to be closer to .238/.312/.399 with 11 home runs, 38 RBI, and 101 wRC+ in limited duty next season.
For the Marlins, Carp could be useful in a couple of roles. Having experience in both outfield corners, he could legitimately spell all three outfielders,with Yelich sliding over the center on Ozuna’s days off. Additionally, as a left-handed hitter Carp could offer a platoon mate for Mike Morse if the first baseman struggles against same hand pitching. However, it should be noted that Carp actually owns reverse splits, having hit left handers much better than right handers over the course of his career.