SEATTLE — Matt Carpenter showed up in St. Petersburg, Fla., on May 26 hoping for a moment or two more under the big league sun after the three-time All-Star with the Cardinals seemed that such times were well behind him.
“I told them,” Carpenter said as he showed up at Tropicana Field on his first day as a Yankee, “if they want me to load the bags on the plane, I will.”
The 36-year-old’s words and, soon after, his actions as a teammate immediately made him a popular figure in the clubhouse – among the most popular new players to arrive in the clubhouse season. Yankees for years.
And then the left-handed carpenter started knocking. And knock. And knock.
Which never really stopped until the most random injury happened here on Monday night when Carpenter fouled a ball from his back (left) foot into the batter’s box, causing a fracture that could well cost him the rest of the season, although the player didn’t. feel that way.
“My mindset is I’ll be back,” he said. “I’m not going to let my mind go anywhere else. I’m not even going to accept the fact that this will be all for me.”
Miguel Andujar, who has been looking for consistent time in the majors as he has always been productive for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, crossed the country on Tuesday to take Carpenter’s spot on the roster.
Carpenter will see a foot specialist on Wednesday morning to see if a 2022 comeback is possible.
“Hopefully I can come back and contribute,” he said. “I don’t have a schedule yet, but I hope everything will go well.”
The injury was why the mood in the visiting club here, while generally happy after the Yankees snapped a five-game losing streak with a 9-4 victory, was not what it was. would normally be after this kind of victory.
“He’s become such a big factor in this room,” Aaron Boone said. “Everyone loves him and he’s been incredibly productive. It’s a knock. Hopefully we get him back at some point.
Productive is an understatement.
Carpenter is hitting .307 with 15 home runs, 37 RBIs and 1.147 OPS in 127 at-bats over 47 games. That on top of, as Boone hinted, becoming a leader in a clubhouse already with a handful of them threw a bit of a lid on it.
“I feel for him,” said Jameson Taillon. “I have no doubt in my mind that he is still going to have an impact on this team, even though he is injured. He came here straight away and had an impact on a lot of people. He didn’t not afraid to talk about pitching with pitchers, he’s not afraid to give honest feedback. He’s one of the best guys I’ve ever been around and he played well. I wouldn’t be surprised if he finds his way back and makes an impact.
Josh Donaldson, another veteran, shook his head regarding Carpenter’s injury.
“He obviously made the difference on the pitch for us, what he was able to do for us in the box,” Donaldson said. “At the clubhouse, he was just as big. Great guy, great clubhouse presence, and he will definitely be missed for as long as it lasts. We hope he gets some good news and it doesn’t end the season for him.
Carpenter, his left foot in a walking boot after Monday’s game and using crutches to get around, was waiting by his locker when the media entered the clubhouse after the game.
It was another example of why several of his teammates have described Carpenter’s as “a pro of the pros”, almost from the time he joined the club in late May.
“It stinks,” said one of the Yankees’ newest players, outfielder Andrew Benintendi, acquired just before the August 2 trade deadline. “Obviously he means a lot to this team, and obviously he’s a guy who knows a lot about the game and has something to say and you can learn from him every day. He’s definitely going to be missed.”