|(Feb. 25, 2016 – Source: Rob Tringali/Getty Images North America)|
I give a lot of props to the Yankees young kids right now. It is supposed to be their time to rise and then Chris Carter is added unexpectedly….and suddenly their future becomes uncertain. Some of them may be SAYING ALL THE RIGHT THINGS but not everyone is happy, players and even some fans.
|(Sept. 22, 2015 – Source: Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images North America)|
Last week, Greg Bird said all of the right things. He was the example of how the young kids speak correctly to the media and I’m not surprised by that. But there is one other side to this, and that is the real and honest reaction from a player. It may not be the most popular answer, or the answer that Greg Bird just gave but I really sympathize with him.
|(Sept. 25, 2016 – Source: Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images North America)|
On Friday, Tyler Austin told Mike Francesa during a radio interview that he didn’t take the news of the Carter signing very well saying “to be honest I was a little frustrated….but he’s just another guy to help the team win.” He’s right, Carter is another guy to help the team win, but he is also the guy that could keep Austin, or someone else from playing on the team. It’s a tough spot to be in especially when he has worked so hard and was considered to be a competitor for the first base job. Austin has been very clear about what his intentions were this spring when he said “I’m not going into this settling for a backup role” and he shouldn’t.
I think Austin’s comments to Francesa are understandable and while Greg Bird makes a very different statement, that is okay. Austin has had a very different journey than Bird has and this was going to be his shot after falling from grace he was going to finally make it. In 2015, the Yankees designated him for assignment but he rebounded in a big way last season. He worked hard, started playing first base and eventually worked his way into AAA and succeeded enough for a late season call up with Aaron Judge once Alex Rodriguez announced retirement.
|(Sept. 7, 2016 – Source: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images North America)|
At this point, Austin’s future on the 25-man roster is very questionable. We all know it, even Austin. I wouldn’t say that adding Carter was a bad move, but it is odd to see the Yankees have this many challenges trying to find ways to work talent onto the roster. It’s a good problem to have, but perhaps not a fair one. It’s going to be a long spring and a long season so this will all work itself out in time. I believe Austin will rise to the occasion and I hope he does.
If Austin wants a job, he needs to show the Yankees that he is capable of more then what he contributed at the end of last season. It’s time to make it impossible for the Yankees to say “no” to him…,and I believe he can.