Heading into this season, if there was anything to fear about Ezequiel Carrera getting something close to everyday playing time in the Blue Jays’ outfield — and make no mistake, there was a lot to fear about Ezequiel Carrera getting something close to everyday playing time in the Blue Jays’ outfield — it probably wasn’t his defence.
Carrera ended 2016 with a flourish, and he was especially hot at the plate during the playoffs, but that really just served to mask how awful he’d been at the plate throughout the second half. Carrera slashed .194/.243/.272 from the all-star break to the end of the season, striking out in 30 per cent of his plate appearances. And what little success he did have in 2016 came against same-sided pitching. He slashed .329/.372/.452 against left-handers over 73 plate appearances, which seemed not just unsustainable, but also rather useless given that he appeared to be going into 2017 as part of some kind of a platoon. He’d be facing mostly right-handed pitching, and against them had nothing resembling a track record of success.
Given what the public knew, there was little reason to expect anything but a disaster. After Melvin Upton Jr. was given his release, I recall offering the rather tepid defence of “it’s not a problem until it becomes a problem,” which amounts to little more than a ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.