Carson Learning The Ropes

BINGHAMTON, NY - Making the jump from St. Lucie to Binghamton is a challenge for every pitcher in this organization. That is no different for southpaw Robert Carson. The fourth-year hurler recently moved up to Double-A where the results haven't been pretty, but Carson is learning what it takes to pitch at the next level.

The jump from High-A to Double-A is one of the toughest steps in minor league baseball, especially for pitchers, and Robert Carson is learning that first hand. The beginning to Carson's stint with the Binghamton Mets is reminiscent of his start to the season with Port St. Lucie, which wasn't pretty.

Carson had an 8.27 earned run average in his first five starts in the Florida State League, and he hasn't fared better in the Eastern League. Through three starts for the B-Mets, Carson has a 0-3 record with a 9.60 ERA. He's quickly realizing the differences between the two leagues.

"First three starts, a little shaky," Carson said. "I'm just looking forward to bouncing back the next start. It's a big difference from St. Lucie. In St. Lucie you can make mistake after mistake…Here, guys are much smarter, older, more experienced, and you can't make that many mistakes."

"I just really got to work on my first strike, getting that first strike over, put guys away and keep the ball down in the zone. I kind of left the ball up (Monday), but I'm looking forward to my next few starts here and just getting better."

It seemed Carson had begun to adjust early on in his outing Monday night against the Portland Sea Dogs. He escaped the first inning unscathed after allowing two singles, and followed that up with two perfect frames, displaying good fastball velocity, hitting 94 frequently. However, it all unraveled for Carson in the top of the fourth.

He gave up three straight hits to right field to start the inning, walked the next two batters, then gave up a grand slam to Chih-Hsien Chiang. He ended up being charged with eight runs in 4.1 innings. Carson felt a bit out of rhythm as the inning progressed.

"The first three innings I felt great," he said. "When we got to the fourth inning, the bases got loaded and I kind of sped the game up on myself and didn't take a step back to take a deep breath. I sped the game up and it got too fast for me and balls kind of stayed up in the zone."

It's not surprising that Carson is experiencing a learning curve. He was drafted out of Hattiesburg High School (Miss.) in 2007 and is still very young; at 21 years old, and with Jenrry Mejia on the disabled list, Carson is the youngest player on the active B-Mets roster. The leap from high school to professional ball presents a bevy of difficulties.

"It was a big difference," Carson said. "I wanted to go to college, but it was an opportunity. I love baseball and I always wanted to play professional baseball and the opportunity came."

"High school is kind of about fun and who's the best, and pro ball has been different. Everybody here is good, they've got talent and good ability. Everybody's here for a reason and it's different, but I like the challenge."

The addition of a breaking pitch to Carson's arsenal early in his professional career has proven to beneficial to his development.

"I'm a fastball-slider-changeup guy," Carson said. "My pitches have come a long way from when I first came into pro ball. I was more of a fastball-changeup guy, didn't really have a breaking ball until my second season in pro ball."

"Just need a little more work in bullpens and flat grounds and really being able to throw my breaking ball for strikes and throw it whenever I want to in any count."

Although his start with Binghamton has somewhat mirrored his April with St. Lucie, Carson did turn things around. He pitched to a 3.21 ERA over his last 70 innings at the High-A level, prompting his promotion to Double-A on July 15.

The left-hander hopes he can make the necessary adjustments with Binghamton, just like he did in Florida.

"My first four starts down there were kind of like (my start here)," Carson said. "We went back and watched the video, me and Rick Waits, trying to find out what was wrong."

"We fixed what was going on and I got my confidence back and started dealing, pitching to contact and staying in the strike zone. I really hope I can find that groove here like I did there, even though I went 0-4 at the beginning of the season there."


Amazin Clubhouse Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nThe jump from High-A to Double-A is one of the toughest steps in minor league baseball, especially for pitchers, and Robert Carson is learning that first hand. The beginning to Carson's stint with the Binghamton Mets is reminiscent of his start to the season with Port St. Lucie, which wasn't pretty.
\r\n
\r\nCarson had an 8.27 earned run average in his first five starts in the Florida State League, and he hasn't fared better in the Eastern League. Through three starts for the B-Mets, Carson has a 0-3 record with a 9.60 ERA. He's quickly realizing the differences between the two leagues.
\r\n
\r\n\"First three starts, a little shaky,\" Carson said. \"I'm just looking forward to bouncing back the next start. It's a big difference from St. Lucie. In St. Lucie you can make mistake after mistake…Here, guys are much smarter, older, more experienced, and you can't make that many mistakes.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"I just really got to work on my first strike, getting that first strike over, put guys away and keep the ball down in the zone. I kind of left the ball up (Monday), but I'm looking forward to my next few starts here and just getting better.\"
\r\n
\r\nIt seemed Carson had begun to adjust early on in his outing Monday night against the Portland Sea Dogs. He escaped the first inning unscathed after allowing two singles, and followed that up with two perfect frames, displaying good fastball velocity, hitting 94 frequently. However, it all unraveled for Carson in the top of the fourth.
\r\n
\r\nHe gave up three straight hits to right field to start the inning, walked the next two batters, then gave up a grand slam to Chih-Hsien Chiang. He ended up being charged with eight runs in 4.1 innings. Carson felt a bit out of rhythm as the inning progressed.
\r\n
\r\n\"The first three innings I felt great,\" he said. \"When we got to the fourth inning, the bases got loaded and I kind of sped the game up on myself and didn't take a step back to take a deep breath. I sped the game up and it got too fast for me and balls kind of stayed up in the zone.\"
\r\n
\r\nIt's not surprising that Carson is experiencing a learning curve. He was drafted out of Hattiesburg High School (Miss.) in 2007 and is still very young; at 21 years old, and with Jenrry Mejia on the disabled list, Carson is the youngest player on the active B-Mets roster. The leap from high school to professional ball presents a bevy of difficulties.
\r\n
\r\n\"It was a big difference,\" Carson said. \"I wanted to go to college, but it was an opportunity. I love baseball and I always wanted to play professional baseball and the opportunity came.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"High school is kind of about fun and who's the best, and pro ball has been different. Everybody here is good, they've got talent and good ability. Everybody's here for a reason and it's different, but I like the challenge.\"
\r\n
\r\nThe addition of a breaking pitch to Carson's arsenal early in his professional career has proven to beneficial to his development.
\r\n
\r\n\"I'm a fastball-slider-changeup guy,\" Carson said. \"My pitches have come a long way from when I first came into pro ball. I was more of a fastball-changeup guy, didn't really have a breaking ball until my second season in pro ball.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"Just need a little more work in bullpens and flat grounds and really being able to throw my breaking ball for strikes and throw it whenever I want to in any count.\"
\r\n
\r\nAlthough his start with Binghamton has somewhat mirrored his April with St. Lucie, Carson did turn things around. He pitched to a 3.21 ERA over his last 70 innings at the High-A level, prompting his promotion to Double-A on July 15.
\r\n
\r\nThe left-hander hopes he can make the necessary adjustments with Binghamton, just like he did in Florida.
\r\n
\r\n\"My first four starts down there were kind of like (my start here),\" Carson said. \"We went back and watched the video, me and Rick Waits, trying to find out what was wrong.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"We fixed what was going on and I got my confidence back and started dealing, pitching to contact and staying in the strike zone. I really hope I can find that groove here like I did there, even though I went 0-4 at the beginning of the season there.\"
\r\n
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