It has been 15 days since the Phillies claimed outfielder Ezekquiel Carrera off of waivers from the Cleveland Indians. And since that day, Carrera has as many Phillies hits as he had for the Phillies before they acquired him: none. At a time when the Phillies offense cannot seem to put two hits together and score a run, Carrera continually enters late in the game in an important situation...and does nothing.
Carrera has appeared in six games and has six at bats. Carrera has come to the plate more times than Kevin Frandsen, who provided a bases-clearing double on April 6. Carrera has to his credit a leaping catch, which he actually misplayed to begin with. He has an additional misplay in the outfield and managed to fall down while flying out once.
When the Phillies signed Carrera, the rationale was that Carrera would more of a "usuable" player than Ender Inciarte, the Rule 5 player sent back to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Both are left-handed and provide (allegedly) solid defense, but I tend to like what I saw out of Enciarte more than Carrera thus far. Enciarte, by the way, is back under Diamondbacks control and hitting .368. Yeah, it's the minors, but he is making contact with a baseball. Not to mention that when the Phillies make a roster move they will lose Carrera too, as he has no options left.
The other alternative was slugger Darin Ruf, who couldn't catch a cold at the North Pole. Yet, for all of Carrera's late-inning, high-stakes at bats, Ruf perhaps could do something. While he has no home runs yet at AAA Lehigh Valley, Ruf is hitting .279 with five doubles and six RBI. Not to mention, the Phillies all-lefthanded-plus-Mayberry outfield could probably use another right-handed bat.
Carrera evokes memores for me of the late, great, John Bowker. Bowker managed to take 13 at bats, mostly in the same kind of situations Carrera is hitting, and not muster a single kit. Carrera even wears Bowker's old jersey number.
In theory, Delmon Young will return someday, slim enough that his ankles won't break from the added pressure. Until then the Phillies are stuck with what they have, and that is not much. In a lineup where Ben Revere, the pitcher, and whoever's catching are automatic outs, the Phillies could at least use a productive player on the bench. Until that day comes, there's Ezekquiel Carrera.