Aug 1, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers center fielder Ezequiel Carrera (61) in the dugout before the game against the Colorado Rockies at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Indians Days of Future Past: Ezequiel Carrera

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Like every other team in Major League Baseball, the Cleveland Indians employ numerous players throughout their organization, from the big-league club in Cleveland to their rookie league team in Arizona and beyond. And like every other Major League franchise, the Indians add and subtract from this player pool on a regular basis. This irregular series will serve to post notice when a former Indians player has done something noteworthy with a quick look back at the player’s time in Cleveland.

Player:  CF Ezequiel Carrera

Current Team:  Detroit Tigers

Year(s) in Indians Organization:  2010-2013

Why He Isn’t Still in Cleveland:  Can we have just one more option year, please? With an outfield that included 3 center fielders in a healthy Michael Bourn, Michael Brantley and Drew Stubbs, Cleveland didn’t need another low power, high speed type as a fourth outfielder.  Back then, Ryan Raburn was hammering every other pitch he saw straight over the left field wall, so he was the perfect man for the backup job.  This left no spot for Ezequiel Carrera on the roster out of spring training, so the Indians were forced to designate him for assignment.  With his solid major-league batting average, along with the ability to play center field and steal a few bases, he was never going to clear waivers.  Philadelphia picked him up and used him as a bench player for quite a while before putting him on waivers in order to reinstate Delmon Young from the disabled list.  Cleveland picked him back up and successfully managed to sneak him back through waivers, but he never made it back to the majors with the Tribe.

 

What He Did:

This:

The other day, Carrera saved Max Scherzer‘s ERA from a modest increase by robbing Jacoby Ellsbury of a double with bases loaded and nobody out.  The Yankees still got a run home on the sacrifice fly, but instead of nobody out, a man on second and three runs in, the situation was much more favorable with one out, two men on and just one run across the plate.  Scherzer was able to get out of the inning without any further damage.

Aside from that, Carrera can count his plate appearances so far with the Tigers on his hands.  In 9 trips to the dish he’s collected two singles and a double.  He’s likely to see quite a bit more playing time, though, as the reason for his promotion is directly linked to the departure of Austin Jackson.  Jackson was part of the three-team David Price trade at this year’s deadline, and he’s now with the Seattle Mariners.  Carrera and Rajai Davis are likely to split time in center, so the Indians will be seeing Carrera at least a few times down the stretch in their handful of games against the Tigers.

What Does the Future Hold?  What an interesting question. It’s unlikely that the Tigers would want to stick with Carrera long-term.  He owns a career batting average of roughly .250, and he has about as much power the average cast member on Big Bang Theory.  However, they may have trouble making an upgrade in center field this offseason.  The only big name on the free agent market this offseason is Colby Rasmus (Denard Span is likely to have his option picked up by the Nationals), but the Tigers already have major payroll questions, and Rasmus will require at least eight figures a year on a multi-year deal.  The Tigers’ No. 1 prospect Derek Hill is years away from the majors, and he’s the only impact center fielder they have in their system.  It’s curious that the Tigers would trade away a productive center fielder in Austin Jackson with no easy replacements available, but then again, the Tigers are in win-now mode and David Price came with a year and a half of team control.  The point of all this is that although Carrera is unspectacular, he doesn’t seem to have much competition for the Tigers’ center field opening until unless the team decides to make a major trade in the offseason.

Notice a player you remember being in the Indians organization? We’re ever-vigilant, but sometimes we miss guys, too! Send us an email at [email protected] and let us know which former Indians farmhand or player is making noise elsewhere.

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