Understand, I am a bit biased about this topic, but it is time for GM Billy Beane to decide once and for all if Chris Carter is a viable option at first base for the Oakland A's.
There is no point in having a guy with Carter's power languish in the minors any more. He will be 26 in December, so the idea of time is definitely not one in the A's favor.
Quite simply, Carter can either show he is capable of a full-time stint with the A's, or it is time to cut ties. A total of 39 games is simply not enough time to establish if he is able to play at this level. And to be frank, it is not as if the A's had someone light years better holding the fort down in his place.
For whatever reason, Daric Barton has had an extended chance to show he can draw a walk. It boggles my mind how Barton had as much rope as he had, to hit .212 and .198 in 2011 and 2012. At a position where power is at a premium, Barton has almost none.
By contrast, Carter is considered (still) one of the more intriguing power prospects in the minor leagues. And yet, the A's have run the following out at first base since 2010: Barton, Jack Cust, Jake Fox, Conor Jackson, Brandon Allen, Kila Ka'aihue and Brandon Moss.
I would like to think with that motley crew of names, the A's could have found a way to get a top-three prospect in their farm system more than 124 plate appearances to see definitively what he could do.
Instead, there has been a frustrating waiting game to see many of the A's better-hitting prospects.
Jemile Weeks only got to play due to an injury. Michael Taylor seemed to languish in the minors before getting his shot. Adrian Cardenas never got an opportunity with Oakland.
It goes on and on, though the vibe seems to be changing slightly in 2012. Derek Norris has seized his opportunity, Carter has been called up and there has been a little less hesitation to give the hot bats from Sacramento an opportunity.
And let us be honest: The 2012 Oakland A's will most likely not be a playoff contender. Breaking .500 would be a great accomplishment for this team with all the injuries and sub-par play we have seen in the first half.
So the question becomes, why doesn't management let the kids play where applicable and see what they can truly do? It starts with Carter. The A's have a massive deficiency of power hitters from the right side of the plate. Carter could complement Yoenis Cespedes and Josh Reddick nicely.
Or, the team and the fanbase can see once and for that maybe Carter just is not cut out for the big time. Either way, there would no longer be the stigma of what if? You have to reshuffle your cards periodically and you can't do that until you play the ones in your previous hand.
To maximize the potential of this team, it is time for players like Chris Carter to be given the chance to show how much they are capable of contributing to it.