As headlines go, the one you just read doesn’t quite rank up there with “MAN WALKS ON MOON” or “WAR IS OVER,” but in these dark, baseball-less days, we must take our news as we find it.
And so I inform you, dear reader, that today the Indians announced the signing of outfielders Matt Carson and Cedric Hunter to minor league contracts, with invitations extended to each man to attend spring training with the major league club at Goodyear Ballpark in Goodyear, Arizona.
Let’s be honest here. These guys ain’t exactly Willie Mays and Mike Trout. In 72 major league games with the Oakland A’s and the Minnesota Twins in 2009, 2010, and 2012, Carson, 31, has a batting average of .211, a slugging percentage of .319, and an OPS+ of 47. Of course, 72 games is a small sample size, but those numbers make me feel nostalgic for the power hitting of the 2012 versions of Johnny Damon and Shelley Duncan. In fairness to Carson, he had a decent season in the minors last year, hitting .282 over 115 games with the Twins’ minor league affiliate in Rochester.
Hunter, 24, has appeared in only six major league games, those with the 2011 San Diego Padres. He spent 2012 playing for the Cardinals’ AAA affiliate in Memphis, where he hit .268 in 129 games.
Who knows? Maybe one or both of these guys will show up to Arizona fit, rested, and ready, and will hit the cover off the ball and make it to the 40-man roster, maybe even to the varsity. But it sure seems unlikely to me. I hope they prove me wrong.