Midseason Report Card: Chris Carter

Grade: F
The third installment of the BBB’s Midseason Report Cards features former Yankees first baseman Chris Carter.  Carter was signed just before the start of Spring Training, after a long free agency provided unfruitful for the big slugger, despite coming off a year in which he led the National League in home runs.  His time in pinstripes was certainly one to forget as the big righty did little to nothing before being designated for assignment on June 23rd.

Photo Credit: Seth Wenig / AP Photo

First Half Performance:
Expected to be just a role player off the bench as an occasional designated hitter and platoon first baseman with Greg Bird, Carter was pressed into everyday service when Bird went down with a bone bruise in his ankle – one which he has yet to return from.

Carter appeared in 57 games for the Yankees and hit a paltry .204/.286/.383 over 167 at bats with just eight home runs.  He played competently in the field in place of Bird, however, the most concerning part of Carter’s game was his strikeout rate.  The Yankees knew they were getting a player who would strike out a lot, but Carter’s 70 whiffs & 37.0% K/PA rate were good for sixth worst in all of Major League Baseball.  His time in pinstripes will most likely be remembered for swings like this:

The Yankees would’ve lived with the strikeouts if the power was there, but Carter was never able to get it going before he was finally cut loose in favor of youngster Tyler Austin.

Expectations for Second Half:
All expectations for Carter were that we would never see him in pinstripes again, but just yesterday, June 28th, he accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, rather than become a free agent to sign anywhere.

With reports that Tyler Austin is a DL candidate with a tight hamstring he is currently dealing with, it wouldn’t be the most surprising thing if the Yankees turned right back to Carter to man first base again.  Of course, since he is no longer on the 40-man roster, a move would have to be made, so maybe for now this keeps Carter in the minors, but it is definitely something worth watching.

I expect Carter to see pinstripes again at some point this season, but I don’t expect the results to be any different than they were during his first tour of duty.

The Yankees brought Carter in on a low-risk, high reward type deal, but that “high reward” part never fell into place.  Carter did have a few big moments for the Yankees – his pinch-hit, game winning home run in Pittsburgh comes to mind – but all in all he was generally an unmitigated disaster for New York.  Assuming Bird can return to the field in the coming weeks and Austin’s injury isn’t significant (two big ifs, I know), the Yankees won’t miss Carter a bit and his time in New York will be nothing more than a blip on the radar.


Update 06/29/17 5:00 PM EST:

Just five days after being DFA'd, the Yankees recalled Chris Carter in the wake of Tyler Austin being placed on the 10-day disabled list with a hamstring injury.

Article by:  Andrew Natalizio


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