There really isn't any doubt about it: this week was not a good one for the Toronto Blue Jays. They managed to squeak out a 3-4 record after Friday's win over the Tampa Bay Rays, but shamefully missed out on several opportunities to take a couple wins from the Chicago White Sox.
When the offence was struggling, and Jays such as Michael Saunders and Kevin Pillar were banged up, manager John Gibbons looked to a familiar face to try and find an antidote. Ezequiel Carrera ended up leading off for the Jays in a couple games, potentially the best games of his career.
Last Saturday for instance, Carrera went 4-for-5 with a stolen base. He followed that with a 2-for-4 performance in which he launched his only home run of the season (just his sixth of his major league career) in a series clinching win over the Oakland Athletics.
Over the last seven days in fact, he's hit .450/.476/.700 with a wRC+ of 240, accumulating half a win over that time period. Carrera led all Blue Jays, including pitchers, over that time frame in WAR, so there's really no way to shy away from the week he's had regardless of your feelings about him as a player.
However there is more than meets the eye to his early success. This is because Ezequiel Carrera, quite simply, is not this good of a player. Sure his line on the season is .344/.364/.500 but his BABIP sits at a near Colabello level of .400. That's not sustainable considering his career mark sits at just .313. This is still above league average--to be expected given his above average speed--but there's nothing to suggest he can keep that mark.
ZiPS projection system from Fangraphs projected him to hit .259/.306/.362 on the season and be worth slightly less than replacement level. Maybe that projection is a little stark. Carrera might not be that bad, but it's not completely unreasonable either. Last season Carrera hit .373/.321/.372 with 0.2 WAR but had his batting average inflated by a .349 BABIP.
Most likely, Carrera is a player between his ZiPS projection and his 2015 performance. He's definitely not as good as his 2016 self. But that's the beauty of an ongoing season. Sometimes, the big guns like Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista and even second-tier players like Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez, aren't able to perform the way they have in their careers. Sometimes, good teams, great teams, need performers from unlikely suspects. This week it was Ezequiel Carrera.
Who it will be next week is the great suspense of an ongoing season.