A's prospect Chris Carter begins career 0-for-32 with 13 Ks

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Chris Carter went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts yesterday before being removed from the game defensively, making him 0-for-32 with 13 strikeouts (and one walk!) to begin his big-league career. Carter’s brutal hitless streak is the longest by any player to start a career since Vic Harris went 0-for-36 for the Rangers in 1972.
Harris rebounded from that to play eight years in the majors, but hit just .217 for his career. He was also a middle infielder and center fielder, whereas Carter’s career will be entirely dependent on him putting up big numbers at the plate. He’s in left field now because the A’s are trying ways to get him and Daric Barton in the same lineup, but Carter has looked pretty bad defensively.
His struggles in the outfield are to be expected from a 6-foot-5, 240-pound guy who played almost exclusively first base in the minors prior to this season, but the flailing away at the plate is unexpected considering he hit .284/.380/.540 with 149 homers in 673 games as a minor leaguer. Carter has always struck out a lot and that may keep him from posting decent batting averages long term, but he’s shown enough plate discipline and power to suggest he’ll be just fine once that first hit finally arrives.

Report: Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on Sonny Gray

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 06: Sonny Gray #54 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at the Oakland Coliseum on August 6, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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The Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on starting pitcher Sonny Gray, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Astros have added Charlie Morton this offseason, but the club has been trying to add a big-name starting pitcher to put at the top of the rotation behind Dallas Keuchel.

Gray, 27, was limited to 22 starts in the 2016 season due to a forearm issue. His stats left a lot to be desired, as he finished with a 5-11 record, a 5.69 ERA, and a 94/42 K/BB ratio over 117 innings. Considering how Gray pitched in the previous three years, he’s a good bet to bounce back.

Gray is under team control through 2019, which is a big draw for the Astros. Needless to say, the Athletics would want a haul in terms of prospects. Gray will earn $3.575 million in 2017, having avoided arbitration in his first year of eligibility.

President Obama Welcomes the Cubs to the White House

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As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.

Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.

Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.