Yankees: Chris Carter is finished; Next first baseman?
Chris Carter may go down as one of the worst free agent signings in Yankees history. It’s time the team cut their losses and call on someone else to play first base. Could that someone be Mike Ford?
There’s a lot you can buy with $3.5 million — a Super Bowl commercial, a fleet of Bugatti Veyrons, jeweler Lam Sai-wing’s bathroom. The one thing you can’t, or shouldn’t, is Chris Carter. Or so the Yankees have quickly found out.
In 65 at-bats this season, Carter has just four extra-base hits, a .200 batting average, one home run, eight RBI and of course, 28 strikeouts.
It’s clear to see that manager Joe Girardi is done trying to get anything out of the former NL home run leader, as Girardi recently opted to play Matt Holliday at first during a three-game set in Pittsburgh.
Everyone and their mother knows that Carter is a streaky hitter. When he finds his groove, he’ll typically sustain it for 10 days or so. But that came with regular playing time on really bad past ball clubs (A’s, Astros, Brewers).
Carter has done nothing to warrant his name ever again appearing in a Yankee lineup, so it’s time general manager Brian Cashman pulls the plug on his failed experiment.
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Tyler Austin, who has missed the entire season to date with a fractured foot, is expected to begin a rehab assignment this week, before seeing game action at Triple-A Scranton.
More than likely, Austin is still looking at around a month until he’s ready to potentially crack the big league lineup. And since Greg Bird has done absolutely nothing in terms of baseball activity since he hit the DL two weeks ago with his own lower-body injury, the Yankees would be wise to gauge the readability of farmhand Mike Ford.
Perhaps in a sign of things to come, Ford was recently promoted to Triple-A Scranton after excelling at Double-A Trenton.
Acting as Gleyber Torres‘ protection in the Thunder lineup, the 24-year-old Ford sported a .303 batting average and .862 OPS in 109 at-bats.
Many felt Ford would begin the season in Scranton, but due to a wrist injury sustained in the latter part of 2016, the organization decided to take a cautious approach with the former Princeton product.
Ford’s power is still evolving, as he’s only hit 32 career minor league home runs. But at 6-feet, 225 pounds, his body, and left-handed swing is reminiscent of Cubs slugger Kyle Schwarber.
Scouts love Ford’s patient approach at the plate, as evidenced by a total 195 walks since 2013 — never striking out more than 75 times in a single season (2015).
Should Ford take to Scranton the way he has in each previous rung up the minor league ladder, the Yankees would be wise to give the kid from Jersey a shot — especially as they wait for Bird and/or Austin to return.
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For those who feel Ji-Man Choi or Rob Refsnyder are the answer — stop it. You know exactly what you’re going to get from each — not a whole lot.
Maybe, just maybe, there’s a Baby Bomber no one saw coming.