Sometimes when a team gets to the postseason, there are little moves that they make where at the time don’t seem to be too significant but over the course of an entire season become huge. This is the case with the Boston Red Sox and the acquisition of Mike Carp.
Carp was picked up right at the very end of spring training for almost virtually nothing. It looked like for most of the preseason that the backup first baseman position was going to go to Lyle Overbay. It was a little bit surprising to see him get cut, just because one had to figure who was going to back up Mike Napoli in case he couldn’t handle the job or if he got hurt. In the beginning of the season, both scenarios seemed extremely possible.
Guess what happened? Napoli not only pretty much stayed healthy all season, he also blossomed into a very solid first baseman. That pretty much made the backup position not as important as it originally was projected to be. So, Carp spent a pretty fair amount of time sitting on the bench, particularly when the season started.
That is until John Farrell inserted Carp into a game early in the season and he got a couple of hits. It seems as though after that, anytime that he played, all he did was hit. One huge base hit that he got during the season was a pinch-hit grand slam that he got against the Toronto Blue Jays on September 21 that made for a huge win. Having a power threat like that off the bench is always important because he can change the game in late innings with one swing of the bat or make solid contact.
Carp may have seemed like an afterthought in the beginning, but looking back that was one of the best pickups Boston could have made.