The Toronto Blue Jays have placed Ezequiel Carrera on the DL with a fractured foot and re-called Dwight Smith Jr
After putting outfielder Ezequiel Carrera on the DL with a fractured right foot, the Blue Jays called up Dwight Smith Jr. from Buffalo to take his place.
This is Smith’s third call-up this season and it seems like it’ll be just as short as the first two. He got into two games (May 18 and 19) after replacing the suspended Kevin Pillar in the lineup. Then, he was sent down to Buffalo, before being recalled to replace Anthony Alford, getting into one more game (May 24). In this case, with Steve Pearce seemingly ready to come back on Friday (and an off-day tomorrow), Smith will probably only be up for one game.
Smith has been having a great season, exactly what a prospect hopes for in his first AAA season. Prior to his first two call-ups, Smith generated a 115 wRC+ over 144 PA. Since then, he hasn’t skipped a beat, generating a 146 wRC+ over 82 PA.
Most impressively, he is producing at the plate in all three ways:
- He’s shown great plate discipline: his 0.59 BB/K ranks 14th among 75 qualified batters in the International League
- He’s shown great contact abilities: his .303 batting average ranks 8th
- He’s shown an average amount of power: his .139 ISO ranks 39th
In three games with the big boys, Smith fit in very well. Over five plate appearances, Smith hit a double and earned a walk, while striking out twice and grounding out once, good for a 142 wRC+. His .332 xwOBA suggests that, on the whole, he had five fundamentally solid plate appearances with the Blue Jays.
Here’s to hoping Smith produces a couple more solid plate appearances tonight before he heads back to Buffalo.
For Ezequiel Carrera, he becomes the latest Blue Jay to hit the sick ward. Getting around on crutches is never a good sign for a professional athlete. With injuries already hitting Toronto’s roster hard, Zeke has seen more playing time than the club intended. He’s seen 186 plate appearances already and collected 49 hits, which is just 18 fewer than his 2016 total.
That may surprise some people considering the amount of negativity around his playing time. It would appear that he was on pace to have an even better year this year after having some success, particularly late in the season.
The Toronto Blue Jays’ roster depth has been battle tested this year. Whether that is a good thing, or not, remains to be seen. It could help increase the stock for guys like Smith Jr. That is not to say that there is any thought of trading such players, but we’ve seen in the past when Alex Anthopoulos promoted players, which did have an impact on their perceived value. Whether it worked on other GMs or not is anyone’s guess. But, you can’t blame a team for trying, right?
*Featured Image Credit: Keith Allison UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0
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I’m an economics professor in the GTA whose lifelong love for the Jays was reignited by that magical August of 2015 and the amazing moments since.