When you hear that a player fractured his foot, as we did with Ezequiel Carrera less than two days ago, you tend to put him out of your mind. Feet are, I think it’s fair to say, fairly important to most professional baseball players. (No, not you, Kendrys, sit down). You’d figure that a guy who fractured one is probably not going to, say, be bounding around the base paths in Buffalo any time soon. Turns out, though, you’d be wrong:
— Buffalo Bisons (@BuffaloBisons) June 26, 2017
This is actually a somewhat significant thing for the Blue Jays. Steve Pearce isn’t much of a left fielder. Ian Parmley only barely exists. Anthony Alford and Dalton Pompey are hurt. Dwight Smith Jr. proooooooobably won’t be able to sustain his .588 BABIP, or continue to be successful with a 34.5% strikeout rate and a 3.4% walk rate.
The Jays, in other words, need a left fielder. And in lieu of an actual one walking through that door any time soon, the return of mighty Zeke’s Thunder is a welcome thought.
Carrera made some of the diaper set a bit angwy with his too frequent miscues in the field, but now that they’ve got a taste of the alternatives, I’m sure even they can get on board. The man with the weird reverse split who all winter appeared to have no business being handed a job on the strong side of a left field platoon has posted a 110 wRC+ in the overall this season, and has slashed a ridiculous .329/.380/.459 against right-handed pitching. That’s a 125 wRC+!
In all of baseball so far this season he’s among the top 25% of hitters with at least 100 plate appearances against right-handed pitching!
I’m not saying I think it’s going to continue like this — his track record suggests otherwise — or that the Jays can stop shopping for an outfielder now that Zeke’s foot seems to be healing so well, but getting Carrera back into this lineup is actually pretty important! So much so that I bothered to write a post about it.
Key hitters Ezequiel Carrera and Justin Smoak. What a year you are, 2017.