When the Detroit Tigers dealt Austin Jackson to the Seattle Mariners in a three-way trade that brought former Tampa Bay Rays ace David Price to Detroit, it created a window for 27-year-old outfielder Ezequiel Carrera to be called up and get a chance to play a little center field in the Motor City. The Tigers were hoping that the speedy Carrera could give them the sturdy left-handed bat that they have been looking for, but that has not exactly been the case thus far.
While Carrera was slashing a mighty impressive .307/.387/.422 for the triple-A Toledo Mud Hens, he has hit just .194/.242/.323 with three extra base hits in 31 at-bats with the Tigers so far. Rather than hitting like he was in Toledo, he has looked more like the player who entered the season as a career .251 hitter with very little power during his brief stints with the Cleveland Indians and Philadelphia Phillies. Sure, he has proven that he is capable of playing good defense and he is only a part-time player, but the Tigers still need to start getting a little bit more offense out of him.
If Carrera could start swinging the bat like he was in the minor leagues, it would be huge for the Tigers. With the exception of the switch-hitting Victor Martinez, the team has struggled mightily to find consistency from the left side of the plate this season. Alex Avila, Don Kelly and switch-hitting Andrew Romine have all experienced their share of issues with the bat in 2014. The Tigers have seemingly been banking on Andy Dirks to return and provide a productive left-handed bat, but he continues to encounter setbacks while rehabbing in the minor leagues and it may be time to stop counting on him.
At this point, finding a decent left-handed bat off of the waiver wire may prove to be difficult, and the other options the Tigers have in the minors such as Tyler Collins and Steven Moya are still quite raw. Carrera needs to step up and give the Tigers an adequate left-handed bat pronto.