Back when I was a kid – Chris Berman used to have a line that anyone who loves sports will remember about former Vikings Hall of Fame receiver Cris Carter. I guarantee someone out there more clever than me has used it when referring to Vernon Christopher Carter and his home run hitting ability.
That brings us to your Hard Hittin’ Mark Whiten Memorial Player of the Week from last week. The award is not just about hitting for average or bringing varying degrees of good play to the table. It’s just about straight mashing. Carter has done that all season long, without being quite as terrible as he was last season during the process.
In the week that was that earned Carter the HHMWMPOTW honors, here’s what he did:
9 for 28 (.321), four home runs, nine RBI, 1.083 OPS
His .818 OPS for the season is up almost 50 full points from where he was last season. He has already matched his 2013 home run total with 29. And he’s cut his strikeout % from 36.2% to a sparkling 30.4%. So he still strikes out a shitload, but he’s improving! FanGraphs went as far as to do a post on what’s different for our chameleon first basemen/outfielder hybrid this season.
He’s actually been as valuable to his fantasy owners as Albert Pujols. He’s helping someone beat me in a fantasy league and keeping me in second in another.
Chris Carter. All he does is hit homers. And strike out some. And help people like me lose people fantasy leagues.
The Houston Astro embark on a new journey in the AL. Many years ago (not that many, but more than some) the Milwaukee Brewers left the AL Central and ventured into the NL Central giving the NL 16 teams to the AL’s 14. In order to rectify this great inequity, the Astros are being moved to the AL. It’s not too tragic. They were an expansion team, have never won the World Series for the NL, and will get a great regional rival with Texas. Unfortunately, the rivalry won’t be much to speak of for the next few season. While the Rangers have plenty of talent, the Astros are trying desperately to acquire it. They have a minuscule payroll and their highest paid player makes $3M. Felix Hernandez now makes $25M.
Let’s take a closer look at the Astros.
Major Off-Season Moves:
- Cut salary.
- Cut salary.
- Cut salary.
- Signed SP Erik Bedard.
- Signed 1B Carlos Pena.
- Acquired OF/DH Chris Carter from Oakland.
The Astros traded away what they could to acquire prospects. It’s tough to evaluate an off season like this except that it was necessary. The Astros have been going down hill for several years and it’s time to flip the switch. They had nothing at the major league level that they could build around. Carter is a good pickup but Pena and Bedard are stopgaps until they can get some newer players there.
Now on to who is going to take the field this year.
Leading up to the start of the 2011 Regular Season, Diamond Hoggers will preview each of MLB’s 30 teams . Today’s preview features the Oakland Athletics. Stay tuned as Diamond Hoggers previews every team division by division until the start of the regular season. Continue reading