For a team like the Indians, who entered the season with World Series expectations, one thing fans surely didn’t expect is to have something called Jamey Carroll become the everyday second basemen. After all that has gone wrong, that Asdrubal Cabrera underperformed enough to be sent to Buffalo feels like only minor bad news, but bad news nonetheless. When you’re hitting at a sub-Mendoza clip, however, it’s a necessary move.
What’s interesting, though, is that fans of the feather should actually be rooting for Carroll to play everyday, and for more reasons than the fact that he looks like Paul Byrd’s little brother when he grows a goatee. ...
As it stands right now, Carroll’s offensive stat-line sits at .287/.379/.344. Admittedly, those impressive numbers – at least impressive for a utility player who is 34 – are the result of a torrid streak he’s put together in the last six games: .619 BA, .652 OBP, 1.366 OPS! But it seems Carroll’s recent improvement has more to do with starting games and getting regular playing time than just coincidence.
On May 17, Carroll sported a Cabrera-like line of .172/.314/.207. Prior to that he started on 15 of the Tribe’s 43 games, with only five starts on consecutive days, and only appeared in 10 more as a defensive replacement/pinch hitter/pinch runner. During the next month, Carroll managed to elevate his averages by getting a chance to start in 15 of the Indians 27 games.
The last time that Carroll was an everyday player was in 2006, when he started 110 games for the Colorado Rockies. That year, he put up a .300/.377/.404 line. In 2007, however, Carroll was relegated to utility role and fell off to a .225/.317/.300 clip.
That’s not to say that Carroll should be your everyday second basemen for any longer than this year, because thay would most likely suck. But with Asdrubal’s sophomore struggles, Barfield’s injury and possibly imminent surgery, Carroll should be more than just a decent everyday replacement – hell, with what we were running out onto the field with Asdrubal, he’s a huge improvement. Hopefully, given the chance to play everyday, Carroll can show some of the consistency he had at the plate in 2006, continue to bring his leather, and be one of the few position players in a Tribe uniform not driving you to drink. – Vince the Polack