Winter is in season for Carson High | NevadaAppeal.com

Winter is in season for Carson High

Charles Whisnand column

Carson High’s Carl Winter hasn’t had the same problem this year of his favorite baseball player.

While Jason Giambi has gotten off to a slow start after signing a huge contract with the New York Yankees, the same cannot be said for Winter, who right from the start, has had an outstanding season for the Senator baseball team.

“He’ll break out,” said Winter after the Senators beat Lassen 16-4 on Monday at Ron McNutt Field. “It’s just a matter of time.”

Winter looks to be right. On Sunday, Giambi homered and on Tuesday against his former team, the Oakland Athletics, he went 2-for-4 and had a key double in the Yankees 2-1 win.

Loyalty seems to be a quality that Winter values a great deal. “I love Giambi,” Winter said. “Even though he went to the Yankees, I still love the guy.”

To show his loyalty, Winter was wearing a Yankees shirt underneath his uniform on Monday.

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“I’m even wearing a Yankees shirt and I hate the Yankees, but Giambi, that’s all I can say,” Winter said.

Winter said he was still upset that Ichiro Suzuki won the American League Most Valuable Player award over Giambi last season.

Winter is having an MVP-type season for the Senators, who head into a tough stretch to end the regular season. Carson will play two nationally ranked teams, Durango and defending NIAA-U.S. Bank State 4A champion Green Valley, this weekend.

The Senators will play Durango at 6 p.m. Friday and Green Valley at 11 a.m. Saturday.

Carson will then end the regular season with a key three-game Sierra League series against Reno before heading to the Northern 4A playoffs.

“We’re playing well right now,” Winter said. “Anything can happen in any game.

“If we hit the ball, we’re going to win games. Our pitching is looking good and our defense is looking good. When you get to zone, it’s a dog fight.”

Since being moved to the leadoff spot in the order, Winter has flourished. He has a batting average above .500 and an on-base percentage that’s even higher.

Winter admitted that he’s not the prototypical leadoff hitter in that he doesn’t take that many pitches. But Winter has adjusted to the role.

“I just try to get on base as much as I can,” he said. “It’s a different role.”

Winter also said he doesn’t care where he hits in the order. “I’ll do the job wherever I’m in the lineup. Wherever they put me, I’ll play.”

Something the Senators can always count on putting Winter is at shortstop where he’s also improved defensively.

“It’s a lot better than it was last year,” Winter said. “I’m just more consistent this year. I take pride in my defense.”

One area that’s conducive to the leadoff spot is Winter’s ability to be hit by pitches as he showed during the wood bat tournament earlier in the year in Southern Nevada when he was hit by pitches on numerous occassions.

“I’ll get hit by pitches,” Winter said. “Usually you’ll never see me get out of the way of a pitch. That’s just the way I play. The main thing is getting on base.”

Winter attributes his success this year to off season conditioning, which included hitting the weight room.

“I’m in better shape,” he said. “I do feel stronger. I worked really hard this fall and I just carried it over.”

Winter said he plans to play on the junior college level and hopes to eventually move on to a higher level.

“My ultimate goal is to have a future in baseball,” Winter said. “I’m just going to work hard and see what I can do.”

Charles Whisnand is the Nevada Appeal Sports Editor.