The New York Yankees have been fighting off a few lasting injuries leading up to the regular season finale, one of them being to slugger Matt Carpenter, who was an offensive catalyst before going down on August 8 against the Seattle Mariners.
Carpenter has been ramping up recently, experiencing live at-bats with Double-A Somerset, trying to work his way back following the fractured foot. The 36-year-old slugger was fantastic over 47 games for the Bombers, hitting .305 with a 41.2% on-base rate, 15 homers, and 37 RBIs. Even if the Yankees get a small taste of that production during the playoffs, he will be well worth a roster spot.
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Luckily, it seems as if he will be healthy and available for the ALDS, which is slated to start next Tuesday.
“I expect him to be on the roster,” Boone said on The Michael Kay Show.
How will the Yankees utilize Matt Carpenter off the bench?
Realistically, Carpenter likely won’t get that many chances to impact the game, especially with Giancarlo Stanton hitting homers in three consecutive games to finish off the regular season. With Stanton hitting his stride, I would expect Boone to utilize carpenter situationally.
There are a few occasions where Carpenter could make an impact, notably against right-handed pitchers and with runners in scoring position.
Oddly, Carpenter actually has better numbers against lefties this season but a much larger sample size against righties. Over 116 plate appearances, he hit .295 with a 41% on-base rate, including 10 homers and 21 RBIs. With RISP, he hit .324 with a 47.8% on-base rate, including seven homers and 26 RBIs.
Obviously, there are ways the Yankees can extract value from the veteran lefty, but considering he hasn’t faced off against live pitching in two months, he may need time to get acclimated.