BOSTON (CBS) – Newcomer Mike Carp has reported to Fort Myers, and is ready to make his impression on the Boston Red Sox.
“You think about all the tradition and everything that goes on; it’s one of baseball’s premiere teams and I’m excited to be a part of it. I look forward to the opportunity I get here,” the 26-year-old Carp said from the Red Sox Spring Training complex on Friday.
The Red Sox acquired Carp from the Seattle Mariners earlier this week for a player to be named later or cash. He’s out of minor league options, so finds himself on the 40-man roster hoping to give Boston some more depth at first base and in the outfield.
“I’m working hard at both. They said I was more limited to first, but I feel healthy so I’m going to try to get in the outfield and try to perform out there,” he said. “I’ll take my reps at both spots and try to make the team.”
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Carp enjoyed a successful 2011 season with Seattle, hitting .276 with 12 home runs and 46 RBIs over 79 games. He entered last season with high expectations, but a shoulder injury in the Mariners season opener against the Oakland Athletics in Japan sent him to the disabled list. He made two different trips to the DL, and only managed five homers and a .213 batting average over 59 games.
But Carp, who was sporting the #38 on Friday, says he is healthy and ready to go, and the injury has fueled him for a big 2013.
“It was one of those tough-luck plays,” he said of his diving bid in Japan. “I think it made me mentally tough and kept my hungry for this year.”
“I’m excited to be healthy, so I’m going to go out and perform the best I can,” he said.
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Carp joins a crowded crop of Red Sox vying for the backup first baseman and outfield job. He’ll be battling it out with veteran Lyle Overbay and Daniel Nava, but views the competition as a good thing.
“It’s always a competition. Someone is always trying to take your job, so you have to stay hungry and healthy and keep at it,” he said.
Carp is glad he’s leaving the cavernous confines of Safeco Field in Seattle – despite the fact they are moving the fences in this year (Carp called it “tough luck” on his part) – and hopes Fenway Park’s Green Monster leads to a few more doubles. He said he likes to use the entire field, and is looking forward to all the short porches in the American League East.
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But most importantly, he thinks he and the Red Sox will be a good fit heading forward.
“Rebuilding, getting back at it, and winning ball club,” Carp said of the Red Sox. “We’re here to win. It’s not like the Mariners how you start from the bottom and try to work our way up. I’m excited to help out any way I can, play first, left, DH maybe. Get some opportunities and hopefully, take advantage of them.”