An abundance of injuries left vacancies all over the Jays' outfield in 2017. Ezequiel Carrera was a main beneficiary, playing in a career-high 110 games. Although his .248 batting average dipped from previous years, the volume of playing time allowed the 29-year-old to post career highs in many categories. Carrera's 0.39 BB/K ratio was the best since his rookie season, and his .108 ISO power, although weak for an outfielder, was the second-highest mark of his six-year career. On the other hand, Carrera's lack of speed was a disappointment. Despite reaching base at a personal-best .323 clip, he managed just seven steals in 11 attempts. The team's outfield lacks depth, but Carrera didn't demonstrate or contribute enough to warrant a starting gig in 2017.
Carrera hit a two-run homer as a pinch hitter in Tuesday's loss to the Red Sox. He's seeing a decent quantity of at-bats as the Jays' fourth outfielder, but Carrera's never going to be mistaken for a significant fantasy asset. He's only somewhat useful even in deep AL-only formats.
Carrera is batting leadoff and playing left field in Thursday's contest with the Orioles, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet reports. Manager John Gibbons shook up the Blue Jays lineup to try to spark some offense, and the move ultimately benefited Carrera. It's unclear if this move will stick, but it could help the veteran outfielder to amass a few extra runs while he's hitting in front of the heart of Toronto's order.
Carrera will be held out of the lineup Wednesday against the Orioles, MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm reports. Carrera received the Opening Day nod in left field Monday, but he'll cede those duties to Steve Pearce in the second game of the series, opening up first base for Justin Smoak. Thanks to his ability to capable handle left- and right-handed pitching, Pearce should have the most stable starting role of the trio, while Carrera's starts will likely be limited to when right-handers are on the mound.
Carrera (thigh) returned to the lineup Friday, Mike Wilner of Sportsnet reports. A thigh contusion had kept Carrera on the shelf since earlier in the week, but he was able to draw back in against the Red Sox on Friday. Now that he's back healthy, look for Carrera to get regular at-bats for the rest of spring before slotting into a corner outfield platoon role once the season gets underway.
Carrera will miss a few days after suffering a thigh bruise in a collision with Darwin Barney, the Toronto Star reports. The Jays are considering Carrera for a spot on their bench to begin the season. For now, it appears as though he may avoid the disabled list to begin the season.
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