Carp gets early test at first base with Red Sox

Carp gets early test at first base with Red Sox
February 25, 2013, 6:45 pm
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PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. --  Mike Carp, who joined the Red Sox Friday after being acquired in a trade with the Mariners, made his debut with the team Monday afternoon. Carp, who was brought in to be one of the group of players vying for the back-up first base/left field job, started at first.
 
“I’m ready to go,” he said. “It’s a fresh start, a new beginning. I’m anxious to get back on the field. I missed a lot of the year last year [with injuries].  So it’s just exciting to play baseball again. They asked me if I’m ready to go, and I’m not going to say no."
 
He was tested right away, as the Rays’ lead-off hitter grounded out to second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who threw to Carp for the out. Later in the inning, with two runs already in, the Rays leading 2-1, and a runner on second, Carp fielded two sharply hit grounders for the final outs of the inning.
 
“It’s my natural position,” he said, “so to get out there right away it’s definitely a lot more comforting than going out to left field right away. So hopefully we’ll start mixing up the outfield a little bit more in the next week or so and hopefully get out there pretty soon.”
 
In his first at-bat,  Carp’s one-out double to center scored Ryan Sweeney to tie the game.       
 
“It felt good,” he said of the double. “It’s definitely a good way to start it out. Just to have a good at-bat, put a good swing. Took two tough pitches and got myself into a hitters’ count and put a good swing on the ball.”
 
Carp was limited to just 59 games last season with three stints on the disabled list – two for his right shoulder, which he initially injured on Opening Day, and one with a groin strain. Now, it’s just a matter of shaking off the rust.
                                                               
“Hopefully sooner rather than later,” he said. “But that’s a process. We got plenty of time to get ready for the season. So just going to take it one day at a time and work on things I need to do to get better. And at the end of camp, hopefully we’ll break and go to Boston.”