Right after their walk-off victory tonight, the New York Yankees have just announced that they have designated Chris Carter for assignment and have recalled Tyler Austin from their Triple-A affiliate at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
The Yankees took a flier and signed Carter this past offseason after he hit 41 home runs for the Milwaukee Brewers a year ago. Hoping he could somewhat replicate the stats from his breakout season in Milwaukee, Yankees GM Brian Cashman extended a low-risk deal to Carter to get him to put on the pinstripes for a year.
Carter will not see the year out as a Yankee thanks to the club dropping him just about an hour or so after Ronald Torreyes sent a walk-off single into center field just an at bat after Carter had the chance to win the game with runners on the corners and one out. Heroics were not in line for Carter tonight as he ended his at-bat just as 69 others have this season — with a strikeout.
As the locker room buzzed after a comeback win that could get the bombers back on track, Carter took his last shower in the house that Ruth built and packed his locker as he enters DFA limbo.
The first place Yankees have been stumbling as of late and this walk off win is exactly what the doctor ordered. This is the kind of win that rights the ship and the Yankees are hoping to build on it.
Their problem all season has been first base with rookie Greg Bird remaining on the shelf, Chris Carter has been their go-to man all season long and has consistently shown poor results and has not impressed in the slightest.
On the season Carter has 70 strikeouts in 167 at-bats, which goes for about a 37 percent strikeout rate. These numbers are not unfamiliar for Carter, but his eight home runs and .204/.286/.383 slash line were not ample enough to allow him to keep his job.
Speaking of him trying to keep his job, the Yankees gave Carter every chance to succeed. Joe Girardi kept running him out there in the hopes that he would get hot and find that power stroke he had discovered last season. However, even Girardi lost hope.
It was reported a few days ago that Girardi had asked Cashman for a new first basemen to take over for Carter. The Yankees brass stuck by Carter consistently stating he was their best option under team control as of right now.
“We’ve struggled at this position the entire year,” Cashman said. “Carter’s had a better June. As we look through and evaluate Carter versus Austin versus any other alternatives, Carter right now is still the best alternative.”
Girardi seemed as though he did not want to blow the situation up even more than it had already been blown however when asked about it he repeatedly stated that the decision to keep Carter at first was an “organizational decision.”
At the time of these comments, Greg Bird was pulled from his rehab assignment at Triple-A with ankle discomfort and shut down which hindered the Yankees hopes of him regaining the first base job. Also, Tyler Austin was still going through a rehab assignment of his own.
Austin broke his foot nail on February 17 during on-field batting practice and was placed on the 60-day disabled lidt. The Yankees knew it would be a while until he rejoined the team and they even postponed it due to the fact that they initially felt he and Carter were the same player being they only viewed each of them as strictly first basemen.
However, now Austin has been recalled thanks in large part to his offensive showing while on the Triple-A squad. In 27 games with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Austin slashed .300/.366/.560 with four home runs, 12 doubles and 21 runs batted in.
It starts to get extremely hard to ignore this kind of offensive put out from the same position as the guy who is struggling heavily in the majors. Austin even hit homeruns in three straight games this week practically begging Cashman to give him the call.
The move is one that had to happen and will be good for the Yankees in the long run, however it is always interesting to think of what could have happened if Carter had the winning hit in tonight’s game in the Bronx.