The Oakland Athletics may be about to call up one of their top prospects, as Chris Carter was removed from Triple-A's game in the fourth inning, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle .
Such a move is curious. There appears to be no obvious injury or issue requiring benching, which leaves only two options: Carter was traded or called up. (Update: Slusser says Carter was not injured and also notes that left fielder Matt Watson has been hospitalized with what is believed to be kidney stones -- so Carter's services are needed.) The former would be quite a surprise, while the latter makes sense once you consider that A's first baseman Daric Barton left Sunday's game in the fifth with left shoulder muscle spasms.
Carter was recently shifted to left field from first base as the team now seems sold on Barton's long-term viability with the franchise. Unlike Barton, whose prodigious power has yet to develop, Carter is known for his power. He bashed 27 home runs entering play Sunday, pairing that with a .262 batting average and .369 OBP.
The 23-year-old was ranked the No. 28 prospect in baseball by Baseball America prior to the 2010 season, and the former draft pick of the White Sox has done nothing to dispel thoughts he can help anchor the middle of Oakland's lineup as early as 2011.
-- Evan Brunell
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