Just a few weeks after the New York Yankees lost star bullpen arm, Michael King, to a fractured right elbow, they received more devastating news when Matt Carpenter was knocked out of Monday night’s game against the Seattle Mariners.
Carpenter fouled a ball off his left foot, losing his balance and limping significantly. Manager Aaron Boone then realized how serious the injury was.
“When I went to swing on the next pitch, as soon as I started to plant and rotate on that back foot, my lower body like gave out and I wasn’t able to,” Carpenter explained. “Thankfully, probably the best thing that happened was to swing and miss — because if I hit it and had to run, I might have made it worse. But I knew it wasn’t good.”
Carpenter was diagnosed with a fractured foot after undergoing tests. The 36-year-old lefty slugger has been a godsend for the Yankees this season, producing unbelievable efficiency in the batter’s box.
The Yankees scooped up a star in Matt Carpenter:
This season, he’s hit .307 with a 41.4% on-base rate and .732 slugging percentage over 46 games. He’s walked at a 12.4% clip and hosts a 22.2% strikeout rate. While there’s still hope that Carpenter can make a recovery and contribute down the stretch, a fractured foot could take months to heal properly.
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“I don’t want to say a number because I just don’t know, but I’m holding out hope that it’ll be a situation where I could come back in the middle of September and can contribute towards a stretch run,” Carpenter said. “So we’ll see. I mean, that’s my mindset is that I’ll be back.”
Carpenter is praying that the injury won’t end his season prematurely, but there’s a very real chance that is exactly what happens. He’s been a force for the Bombers, finding his swing once again after two years of sub .200 averages for the St. Louis Cardinals.
“I knew he got it good. That’s why I went out there initially,” Boone said. “And I was just like, the way he was moving, I’m like, this isn’t good.”
In the month of July, Carpenter hit .356 with a 44.7% on-base rate, nine homers, and 23 RBIs. His August started off a bit slow, as the entire team was struggling through a six-game losing streak.
In his place, we should expect to see Estevan Florial and potentially Miguel Andujar, who’ve both been performing well with Scranton in Triple-A. Unfortunately, there’s no chance they replicate the offensive production that Carpenter displayed this season, which could end up being devastating to the team’s future success.