It’s time to send Chris Carter away.
With the Houston Astros (34-27) struggling offensively during a season-high seven-game losing streak, it has become more apparent than ever that the big man needs to go.
You may think I’m overreacting or being harsh, but the quiet slugger (if you can still call him that after the season he is having so far) has been a shell of his 2013 and 2014 self and has provided miniscule power numbers in the Houston lineup in 2015. With a line of .199/.310/.388 at the plate and only 10 HR and 30 RBI in 59 games, the “he just needs to break out of his slump” grace period is over.
Yes, Carter dazzled many fans as a relative unknown the last two seasons with solid power numbers – 29 HR and 82 RBI in ’13 and 37 HR, 88 RBI in ’14 with a drop in Ks from 212 to 182. But even then he hit only .225 over those two seasons combined and had an OBP of .314. A legitimate slugger cannot post those kinds of numbers at the big-league level and expect to stay there.
But don’t worry Astros fans, help has already come and could still be on the way.
Top prospect Carlos Correa has already displayed his power potential at the shortstop position in his first three games with the club, belting a two-run homer and a double while driving in three runs. Preston Tucker, who was called up from Triple-A Fresno in May, has shown promise as a left-handed slugging OF/DH with two HR and eight doubles in 27 games.
Then there is Jonathon Singleton. Singleton became a source of controversy for the Astros when the team signed him to a 5-year, $10 million contract last year, which some players thought was an unfair deal. Singleton was touted as the next great power-hitting first baseman, but hit just .168 and struck out a whopping 134 times in 95 games as a rookie. He was promptly demoted back to minors.
But the experience seemed to have a positive effect on the 6-foot-2, 225 pound slugger. Singleton has been tearing up Triple-A this season to the tune of .269/.373/.552 while tallying 15 HR and 52 RBI in 56 games. Oh, and did I mention he had 10 RBI in a SINGLE GAME a few weeks ago?
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Yeah, Big Jon is ready to be back in the big leagues and with quiet Chris playing the way he is, there is no better time to bring up Singleton than when the Astros are in their worst offensive slump of the season.
No one saw this season playing out the way it has through 61 games, but the future is now. No more “2017 World Series champions” or “we’re one or two years away from the playoffs” chatter – the Astros are in contention NOW. The front office can’t sit here and hope Carter finds his stroke. He should be demoted to Triple-A or used in a package deal for a top starting pitcher as the trade deadline approaches.
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