116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — This is not the same Shane Carrier that left town in late May.
The Cedar Rapids Kernels outfielder has at least one hit in each of the four games he has played upon his return to the Midwest League. That included going 1-for-4 with a walk and RBI in his club's 7-6 loss Thursday night to Quad Cities at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
'It's good to be back,' Carrier said. 'I'm just trying to keep it simple. See the ball, hit the ball and try and play good defense.'
The well-built right-handed hitter from Fullerton, Calif., began this season with the Kernels but struggled so much he was shipped to Minnesota Twins extended spring training. He went to Rookie-level Elizabethton when its season began in late June and regrouped.
Regrouped to the tune of a .348 average in 32 games, to be specific. Carrier, 21, was elevated back to the Kernels earlier this week when outfielder Aaron Whitefield was placed on the disabled list.
Counting his time in E-town, he has a 17-game hitting streak and has hit in 27 of his last 28 games.
'He's swinging at better pitches. A hundred percent,' said Kernels Manager Tommy Watkins. 'Before, he was getting himself out. His chase percentage was really high. He was getting himself out swinging at bad pitches, and you can throw mechanics out the door when you do that.'
'Confidence,' added Kernels hitting coach Brian Dinkelman. 'He was struggling here, and when you get down, you get down, and it's hard to hit. He was hitting down there, so he brought that confidence with him.'
Carrier had a two home-run game in his re-debut against Wisconsin, adding a double that nearly cleared the fence as well. He's still aggressive (he had only one walk at Elizabethton), but it's a more controlled aggression.
'Don't make it harder than it is,' he said. 'I feel much more comfortable.'
Quad Cities scored twice each in the fourth and fifth innings to pull out to a 5-1 lead, then hung on. The Kernels (59-57, 20-26) got two runs in the eighth to make it a one-run game, and had the tying runner on with none out but couldn't move him.
Tyler Watson (0-2) allowed seven hits and five runs in five innings to take the loss. It was his second game since being in involved in a trade that sent major league closer Brandon Kintzler to the Washington Nationals.
The teams play again Friday night at 6:35.
The Kernels and Twins announced starting pitcher Tyler Wells has been activated from the disabled list and sent to the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League Twins. Wells is 4-2 with a 2.11 earned run average in 11 starts for C.R., but has been on the DL twice this season.
He made three rehab appearances for the GCL Twins before officially being sent there.
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