Set for a quick turnaround between games, Carter could be rewarded for a clutch hit with his name in the starting lineup as the Mets and Nationals complete a three-game series Wednesday afternoon.
Despite a strong spring training, Carter didn't make the opening day roster. But he excelled at Triple-A Buffalo, batting .336 with six homers and 22 RBIs, and the struggling Mets (18-15) called up the outfielder Tuesday.
The move paid dividends that very evening, with Carter delivering a pinch-hit tiebreaking double, helping the Mets score six runs in the eighth inning of an 8-6 win over Washington (18-15).
It was the most productive inning of the season for New York, which opened this series by going 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position in a 3-2 loss Monday night.
Carter hasn't started a game since Sept. 28, 2008, when he went 0 for 4 for Boston against the Yankees, but he may have earned another chance. Right fielder Jeff Francoeur is slumping, batting .147 (5 for 34) in his last 10 games, and this afternoon game may make it tempting for New York to give him a break.
Carter was nicknamed "The Animal" by manager Jerry Manuel in spring training for his intensity.
"He's a very focused individual," Manuel said. "We all feel he can add some spice to our lineup."
Carter was acquired from the Red Sox on Oct. 7 to complete the trade that sent reliever Billy Wagner to Boston in August. He struck out eight times in 123 at-bats with Buffalo, and the Mets can certainly use better contact hitters in their lineup after striking out 71 times in the last eight games.
The Mets now face Craig Stammen (1-1, 5.63 ERA), who struck out a career-high eight and surrendered two runs in 6 2-3 innings while not receiving a decision in a 4-2 loss to Florida on Friday night. The right-hander is 0-1 with a 16.88 ERA in two road starts.
Stammen is 1-2 with a 4.67 ERA in three outings against the Mets.
New York will counter with Mike Pelfrey (4-1, 2.65), who has given up nine runs over his last two starts after allowing two in his previous five. The right-hander yielded three runs in 7 1-3 innings of a 6-4 walkoff win over San Francisco on Friday night.
Pelfrey is 4-5 with a 3.86 ERA in 13 starts against the Nationals. He allowed two runs in six innings of an 8-2 victory at Citi Field on April 9.
Slugger Adam Dunn is batting .158 (3 for 19) against Pelfrey. Dunn, though, hit a three-run homer Tuesday and is hitting .333 (7 for 21) with two home runs and six RBIs in his last six games.