Yankees slugger Matt Carpenter expecting heroic return for ALDS series

matt carpenter, new york yankees
Aug 5, 2022; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; New York Yankees designated hitter Matt Carpenter (24) salutes the fans as he receives a standing ovation before his first at bat during the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees are getting healthier ahead of Tuesday’s game against the Cleveland Guardians to open the ALDS. Thankfully, veteran slugger Matt Carpenter is ready to make his long-awaited return after suffering a fractured foot on August 8 against the Seattle Mariners.

Carpenter was a catalyst on the offensive side for the Bombers over 47 games after being signed off the Texas Rangers’ Triple-A affiliate. Over 154 plate appearances, Carpenter hit .305 with a 41.2% on-base rate, 22.7% strikeout rate, and 12.3% walk rate. He also posted 15 homers and 37 RBIs, earning a 217 wRC+, indicating he was 117% better than the average MLB player.

On Sunday, Carpenter indicated that he would be ready for the ALDS, likely being featured off the bench and situationally to help the Yankees’ offense.

“I feel like I’m ready.”

Per Bryan Hoch of MLB Network

Manager Aaron Boone had already stated that Carpenter was expected to be on the playoff roster, but now it is all that confirmed given his progression over the past few days, enjoying batting practice with Somerset.

“I expect him to be on the roster,” Boone said on the Michael Kay Show last week.

“The biggest thing is him getting in there and seeing live pitching,” Boone had told Randy Miller of NJ.com earlier this week. “He’s had five or so at-bats each day (of late) and now we’ll get eyes on him through the weekend and into next week. I’m optimistic and feel like physically he’s in a pretty good place.”

How can the Yankees involve Matt Carpenter?

Carpenter can be used in a number of different ways, but the Yankees likely will try to avoid him being involved on defense.

Notably, with runners in scoring position and against right-handed pitching, Carpenter can contribute heavily. Against righties this year, Matt hit .295 with a 41% on-base rate, including 10 homers and 21 RBIs. With RISP, he hit an impressive .324 with a 47.8% on-base rate, including seven homers and 26 RBIs.

If the Yankees need an offensive jolt toward the end of the game or Giancarlo Stanton is struggling considerably, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Carpenter get a few at-bats.

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