Detroit Tigers Should Turn To Ezequiel Carrera For A Much-Needed Left-Handed Bat
In Spring Training, Ezequiel Carrera was mentioned as one of the Detroit Tigers‘ several internal candidates to fill the void that was created when Andy Dirks was lost to a back injury. However, the job ultimately went to Tyler Collins who would later join Carrera in triple-A Toledo.
The left-handed Carrera has been tearing it up during his first month down in Toledo. He currently owns a slash line of .326/.404/.453 with two home runs, 15 RBIs and 13 stolen bases. The Tigers could certainly use production such as that out of a left-handed bat at the moment. Carrera’s speed would fit nicely into this year’s new-look Tigers team as well.
Carrera, who is still only 26 years old, has had a few brief stints in the major leagues with the Cleveland Indians and Philadelphia Phillies, but he is just a career .251 hitter with only two big league home runs. He is, however, a lifetime .286 hitter in the minor leagues. It is important to note that switch-hitting Victor Martinez is one of only four left-handed hitters on the Tigers’ 25-man roster. He is also, for the most part, the only one of them who is producing.
The Tigers’ switch-hitting shortstop, Andrew Romine, is batting just .229 and a mere .185 from the left side of the dish. Left-handed hitting catcher Alex Avila continues to struggle to the tune of a .220 batting average. Utility man Don Kelly may be batting .316 in 19 at-bats, but he is a lifetime .231 hitter and his average is very likely to drop once he starts getting more at-bats. That is it for Tigers hitters who bat left-handed.
The Tigers recently brought up the power-hitting J.D. Martinez, who gives their team a dimension they have not had since Marcus Thames: a big bat who can come off of the bench and deliver a home run. A look at Martinez’s minor league career suggests that he may have even more untapped potential. However, the fact remains that he is yet another right-handed hitter.
If the Tigers decide that they need another left-handed bat to counter right-handed pitching, they should find that they have a pretty good option in Carrera. Perhaps he is finally ready to translate some of his minor league numbers into success at the big-league level.
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