Thursday, June 1, 2017

Will Tyler Austin Unseat Chris Carter on Yankees Roster?


The New York Yankees had high hopes for the first base position this year and those high hopes and about $15 could get you a beer at Yankee Stadium right now. The Yankees first baseman have been, in a word that’s not really a word, terrible. Greg Bird was hitting exactly .100 before he went on the disabled list and Chris Carter has been a shell of his former self after leading the National League in home runs in 2016 while with the Milwaukee Brewers. With the recent promotion to Triple-A for a rehabbing Tyler Austin could the Yankees have a decision to make on their hands in the very near future? Could the Yankees actually cut and designate Carter for assignment while bringing Austin back to the Major Leagues to play first and the outfield? In another word that is actually a word, yes. Will they? That cannot be answered in a word so keep reading.

Austin adds a versatility and some flexibility that the Yankees bench not only lacks, but needs. Carter is a first baseman or DH only on a team who already has at least two players just like him in Bird and Matt Holliday. The fact that Austin has played third base during his professional career as well as the corner outfield makes so much more sense for him to be sitting on the bench a few days a week, even when Bird returns off the disabled list, than having Carter sitting on the bench. The money is a non-issue to me because in the land of guaranteed contracts the money is spent regardless. I’m not bothering myself with trying to get under the luxury tax, I’m trying to compete and I’m trying to win.

Carter was brought in to be the right-handed compliment, not platoon partner, for Bird and I have news for you. Not only is Austin right-handed but Austin has right-handed pop to all fields, especially inside Yankee Stadium. It just makes sense to me. Bringing up Austin not only continues the youth movement but it makes the team more flexible, more versatile and truth be told it makes the team flat out better. Austin won’t hit .300 at the Major League level but I don’t think he will strike out 200 times a season without taking his walks either. He is a patient hitter and he sprays the ball everywhere. Austin, unlike Carter, is not one-dimensional and would make manager Joe Girardi’s job just that much easier as the team has run just three extra positional players for much of the season.

So when Austin gets back and ready will the Yankees designate Carter for assignment? I don’t know. Should they? Absolutely!


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