In Monday’s game against the Minnesota Twins, Ezequiel Carrera had to leave the field after a collision in the outfield, suffering a right leg contusion and needing help off the field.
Spring training is a time for excitement in baseball, but it’s also a time where managers and front offices are a bit on edge, hoping their rosters can begin the season as a healthy unit. While stars like Josh Donaldson and Devon Travis are making their way back to the field for the Blue Jays, unfortunately Ezequiel Carrera was being helped off of it.
In Monday’s game against the Twins, Carrera collided with Darwin Barney on a blooper to short left field. Barney came away from the play relatively unscathed, but Carrera was assisted off the field and taken to the trainer’s room. The timing is unfortunate for the 4th year Blue Jay, as he looked to be in line for a chance at semi-regular playing time.
However, in this case it might actually work to both the Blue Jays’, and Carrera’s advantage as far as the roster is concerned. While you never want to see a player get injured, it doesn’t appear as though it’s anything major. The early guess for a leg contusion is a week or two, so it’s not something that should keep him out long term. That said, the season is set to begin in two weeks, so Carrera could be a bit of a stretch to begin the season on the 25 man roster, and might see a short DL stint.
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While nothing has been formally announced yet, it’s largely been expected that Carrera will form one half of a platoon with Melvin Upton in left field, at least to begin the season. They may have to share some time with Steve Pearce out there as well, but Carrera looked poised to make the team and see a decent amount of playing time. He played some of the best baseball of his career in the playoffs last year, so he could be a sleeper for the upcoming season if he can parlay that into the regular season.
With Carrera’s injury it’s possible he could begin the season on the DL, which could mean several things. Beyond Upton and Pearce, Dalton Pompey figures to factor into the outfield picture this year, only he’s still recovering from a minor concussion he sustained during the WBC. There haven’t been many updates on him since the announcement, so we’ll have to wait and see when he’s able to pass the concussion protocol, but it looks like he won’t be ready either.
Upton is battling a sore shoulder recently too, and Pearce is coming off forearm surgery. Both are expected to be ready for the regular season without much restriction, but things can change quickly. A once cloudy outfield picture now looks a little thin, unfortunately.
On the plus side, none of the injuries figure to hurt the club in the long term, and it also likely allows the team to carry Ryan Goins, protecting him from being exposed to the waiver wire. Goins is out of options, so the Blue Jays won’t be heartbroken to have room for him on the roster. If everyone was going to be healthy he might have been a long shot to make the roster, but at the moment his versatility could come in very handy in April.
It just goes to show how much of a domino effect one injury can have, especially when teams are trying to determine who will make the team on Opening Day. Hopefully Carrera can get back on the field as soon as possible, but at least it sounds like the injury is relatively minor.