Chris Carter Hates Pitches

At some point after Chris Carter was called up from Triple-A Buffalo I started noticing an aversion on his part to lengthy at-bats. I don't know if he had other non-game business to take care of or if he was suffering from adult onset Francoeur-itis, but, at least anecdotally, it seemed like he was consistently swinging early in the count and putting the ball in play after seeing only a pitch or two. I was pleased to find out that, at least (and perhaps only) in this instance, my eyes and memory haven't failed me.

In 22 plate appearances prior to last night's game, Chris Carter had seen two pitches or fewer 13 times. Put another way, 59% of the times he comes to the plate he sees less than three pitches. That's way more often than any Met regular. To wit:

Chris_carter_swings_early_medium

Chris Carter makes Jeff Francoeur look like Nick Johnson. Carter has seen just 2.36 pitches per plate appearance, which is the fewest of any player in baseball with at least 25 PAs (Carter doesn't quite have 25 yet). Two of the next three lowest -- Tim Lincecum (2.56 P/PA), and Ryan Dempster (2.61 P/PA) -- are pitchers.

Carter pinch hit in the bottom of the ninth last night and struck out on three pitches, an unremarkable feat made remarkable by the fact that it actually raised his cumulative pitches seen per plate appearance. The number of at-bats we're working with here is practically negligible, though it does suggest that Carter might be pushing a bit to make a favorable impression in limited playing time. You can't blame the guy for trying so hard; he must have been as shocked as we were to hear his name called when a roster spot opened up. Omir Santos was probably in the crapper at the time so the Mets just took whoever answered the phone.

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