Editor’s note: NESN.com is holding a three-week tournament to determine “Boston’s Best Newcomer.” The Red Sox added a lot of new faces in 2013, and the results have been impressive. It’s time to determine which new addition from 2013 best embodies Boston baseball.
Mike Carp was a late addition during spring training, and he wasn’t even guaranteed a roster spot. Carp has since become one of the most valuable bench contributors in baseball.
Carp, who was acquired from the Mariners in exchange for a player to be named later or cash, battled with Lyle Overbay during spring training for a roster spot, and he eventually won because of his ability to play the outfield in addition to first base. Overbay has since gone on to have a nice season with the Yankees, but the Red Sox know that they made the right decision.
John Farrell has been able to plug in Carp at first base and even the outfield this season knowing that the Red Sox’ offense won’t skip a beat. It was especially important when starting first baseman Mike Napoli went through some struggles, as Carp helped pick up the club.
While Carp has been a solid contributor when starting in place of Napoli or one of the team’s corner outfielders, perhaps his best work has come on days in which he wasn’t even in the starting lineup. Carp has shown an amazing ability to stay focused and prepared, which has made him a terrific pinch-hit option.
Farrell has constantly praised the Red Sox’ depth this season, and Carp is a major reason why the skipper is so confident in his entire roster.
Vote for “Bostons’ Best Newcomer” at the matchup links below.