Following their thrilling 2-1 extra innings win on Friday night against the Rangers, the Yankees announced they had designated first baseman Chris Carter for assignment and recalled first baseman/outfielder Tyler Austin with the corresponding roster move.
Carter never seemed to get it going with the Yankees even after getting consistent playing time with Greg Bird out. The 30-year-old first baseman was hitting just .204/.286/.383 on the season with eight home runs, four doubles, and 23 RBIs. He also struck out in 37% of his plate appearances through 57 games.
The Yankees signed Carter just before Spring Training on a low-risk, high-reward deal at one-year for $3 million. However, Carter seemed to never string together any hits, and Tyler Austin was surging in Triple-A.
Austin hit .241/.300/.458 with four home runs and 12 RBIs in 31 games after being called up in August of 2016. His performance gave him plenty of confidence coming into 2017.
Austin entered this season looking to compete for the first base job, but broke his foot in batting practice during the first week of camp. He was missing in action until he was sent to Trenton for a rehab assignment on May 20, and was officially optioned to Triple-A Scranton on June 5.
Since being sent to Triple-A, Austin has been raking with a .300/.366/.560 line, including three home runs in his last four games. His power surge along with Carter’s inability to make consistent contact forced the Yankees to give Austin the call.
The Yankees are concerned with Austin’s swing-and-miss rates in the minors, as he struck out in nearly 27 percent of his plate appearances. Still, Austin should see the majority of the starts at first base while Bird continues to get healthy, but he may also get some starts in left or right field.
The Bombers appear to be willing to mix in their youth moment with their attempt to contend for an AL East title this season. The club currently sits at 40-31, tied with the Red Sox for first place in the division.