Notebook: Carp gets nod over Sweeney

Notebook: Carp gets nod over Sweeney
March 29, 2013, 12:15 pm
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FORT MYERS, Fla. --  Ryan Sweeney was informed after the game Thursday night that he would not be added to the major league roster. Mike Carp was informed Friday morning that he had made the team.
 
The news to Sweeney allowed him to invoke his opt-out. Sweeney, who signed a minor league contract with the Sox in January,  has 24 hours to inform the Sox if he will become a free agent or if would go to Triple-A Pawtucket. The Sox then have  48 hours to decide what they will do with him.
 
The primary reason was “defensive versatility,” Farrell said, and Carp’s ability to play first base.
 
“It’s very important,” Farrell said. “It’s probably the difference between, if we are to compare guys we’re talking about this morning, Sweeney and Carp and [Daniel] Nava. The ability to go to first base weighed heavily in this. And you could say it was a deciding factor, the defensive versatility. That’s not to take anything away from Ryan Sweeney. He’s a very good player, can play all three outfield positions. We felt like that flexibility to go to first base was key in this.”
 
Sweeney said Thursday night he had asked the Sox when he got to camp if they wanted him to work out at first base, but they declined.
 
“It was talked about initially,” Farrell said. “But in fairness to him -- he’s always been an outfielder --  we didn’t’ feel like where with the other guys have had first base play in their past, that’s where we focused on.”
 
Farrell said the door remains open for Sweeney to come back to the Sox and play at Pawtucket.
 
Carp’s bench role is what the Sox outlined to him when they acquired him from  the Mariners in February.
 
“He’s going to come off the bench, pinch-hit, occasional start, flexibility to go to first base, left field, if we do pinch-hit or have changes in other areas,” Farrell said. “So that’s where we are with him. And that hasn’t changed from the day  he walked in.  That’s been consistent.”
 
Carp said he had a good feeling over the last few days he would make the team.
 
“I knew I was in a good spot, especially playing first base and having some experience there,” he said. “You never know until you get the final decision from the skipper himself. So this morning they pulled me into the office. So it made me feel good.
 
“I knew something was going to happen regardless after all the (moves), knowing there are only a couple cuts left. Either way I figured I’d find out. It’s definitely better this way.”
 
He acknowledged, though, that the bench role will take some getting used to.
 
“It’s going to be a little different going in, not being an everyday player and trying to get as many at-bats as possible,” he said. “So there’s definitely going to be an adjustment period as far as that goes. But it’s not anything I don’t think I can  handle. So I’m excited and ready to embrace that role.”
 
It is just the second time in his career, and second consecutive season, Carp will have been on an Opening Day roster.
 
“I’m excited,” he said. “It’s a better opportunity than I would have had in Seattle. To be on the Opening Day roster. This is only my second one. To be a part of this, I’m excited.”
 
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The Sox still have 32 players in the major league league camp, including three non-roster invitees: 14 pitchers, two catchers, seven infielders, and seven outfielders (including Ryan Kalish, on the 60-day DL).

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Outfielder Mitch Maier, out since March 15 with a sprained left wrist, has an opt-out for Friday. Farrell said it is the team’s understanding that Maier does not intend to use it and will stay with the Sox.
       
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Shortstop Stephen Drew, who was placed on the seven-day concussion disabled list on Thursday, retroactive to March 27, will continue with baseball activities Friday. ... David Ortiz (heels) will also continue his baseball activities. There is currently no timetable for Ortiz to run the bases. ... When lefthander Franklin Morales (lower back) is ready to start get into games again, the Sox will have him start in order to stretch him out to be rotation depth, as was originally planned at the beginning of spring training. He is scheduled to pitch off a mound on Saturday.
        
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LINEUPS:
Red Sox:
Ellsbury CF
Victorino RF
Pedroia 2B
Napoli 1B
Middlebrooks 3B
Saltalamacchia C
Gomes DH
Bradley LF
Ciriaco SS
Dempster RHP
Bullpen: Tazawa, Mortensen, Duarte, Ruiz, Rowland-Smith, Scott
Bench: Ross, Iglesias, Almanzar, Gibson, Bermudez, Brentz, Spring, Carp, Henry, Nava, Swihart.
 
Twins:
Carroll DH
Dozier 2B
Plouffe 3B
Doumit C
Parmelee 1B
Ramirez CF
Escobar LF
Ortiz RF
Florimon SS
De Vries RHP