Carrera Has Uphill Climb

Each week through Spring Training the DTTWLN staff will profile and break down the players in camp for the Indians at Goodyear, Arizona and examine their potential roles for the season to come. This week, we continue our Goodyear coverage by breaking down the players who are battling for a chance to make the Opening Day roster.

By Mike Brandyberry

With the loss of Grady Sizemore for two to three months, the Indians are considering all options in the outfield. One of those options, Ezequiel Carrera, could be the only one to supplant Michael Brantley from centerfield.

Manager Manny Acta explained this week that Carrera is the only outfielder who can move Brantley back to left field, due to his superb defense. Several times in the past Acta has stated that Carrera is the best defensive outfielder in the Tribe’s organization. However a year ago, Carrera made four errors with the Tribe in only 64 games. Hardly stellar defense for an outfielder.

Last season was Carrera’s first Major League action, hitting .243 with no home runs and 14 runs batted in. His first big league hit was a squeeze bunt past the pitcher, scoring the go ahead run for a late inning Tribe victory. The light hitting outfielder saw most of his time after Sizemore was injured in July and Brantley in August. His erratic play in the outfield and at the plate left little reason to consider Carrera a serious option for this year’s roster.

Now, with Sizemore out for considerable time, Carrera is the only player who can push Brantley back to left field. However, the likelihood of that seems to be small. With Ryan Spilborghs, Shelley Duncan, Aaron Cunningham, Fred Lewis and Felix Pie all vying for a roster spot in left field, it is more likely one or a couple of them will out play Carrera and push Brantley to centerfield for the season.

Carrera is currently on the 40-man roster, but if a player like Spilborghs makes the team, the speedy slap hitter could be the kind of player to find himself designated for assignment to make room for someone before he returns to AAA-Columbus.

Photo: Associated Press

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. E.C. was really exciting when he was ‘on’ last year…I think his squeeze bunt against the Reds last year was one of my favorite memories of the season. Hopefully he has improved enough offensively and gotten the jitters out on defense to provide the Indians with a player they can count on.

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