The Oakland Athletics made another roster move today, optioning outfielder Chris Carter to their minor league camp following a 10-3 defeat at the hands of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Unless I missed other moves, that would appear to bring the A’s down to 34 men, with nine more cuts expected between now and the middle of next week.
The demotion is not surprising and Chris Carter himself was not surprised given the numbers game he was facing. The A’s added OFs David DeJesus and Josh Willingham and DH Hideki Matsui this past offseason. Considering Daric Barton is also entrenched at first base and Carter has struggled with his defense overall, this move was expected. A’s manager Bob Geren apparently indicated the move came now so Carter could get more innings in the outfield before the end of spring training.
Carter has struggled a fair amount on defense and as Susan Slusser indicated in the link above, designated hitter may be Carter’s ceiling. If he can mash the ball that’s fine, but for now the team is set with Hideki Matsui at the position. I’d imagine Carter will get a ton of time in the field to try and improve his fielding, but in the meantime there’s just not space for him.
As it currently stands, aside from Matsui, the A’s OF/DH position would seem certain to include Willingham, DeJesus, Coco Crisp, and Ryan Sweeney. That leaves Matt Carson and Conor Jackson likely battling for one spot. I believe Jackson has a bit more time at first base, but Carson is having a better spring. Either guy is the fifth outfielder so you can only be so worried about the roster spot.