The Yankees can’t seem to find room for consistent playing time for Matt Carpenter in recent weeks. Luckily, that’s led to Carpenter punishing his opponent when he does get a window of opportunity, rather than aiming his ire at the front office.
After nearly a week off save for some pinch-hit at-bats, Carpenter wreaked havoc against the Cubbies on Sunday afternoon, recording a pair of bombs and seven RBI that seemed to prove his reworked swing is working.
World Series champions of the past have been reliably stocked with Carpenter types, and the Yankees should thank their lucky stars they were going through some injury issues at the exact moment he hit the open market.
Especially because the sharks were lurking. According to the rumors swirling Sunday, things could’ve gotten highly unpleasant if the Yankees had passed on Carp.
Since his acquisition, Carpenter’s hit more home runs in part-time duty than the Detroit Tigers have as a team (in, uh, full-time duty). That’ll play.
And he could’ve been doing it for either the defending champions or the most insidious team in baseball, if the Yankees hadn’t intervened. Go figure!
Yankees almost lost Matt Carpenter to Red Sox, Braves
Instead? Six homers in 24 at-bats for the good guys with a 1.592 OPS and a 342 OPS+. That’ll play!
This story has a happy ending because (drumroll please) Carpenter always preferred the Yankees, and his enthusiasm synced up with their desperate need. When the veteran reported to Tampa to join the team at Tropicana Field, he claimed he’d load bags onto the plane if that’s what the situation called for.
Impressive dedication, but instead, the situation has called for drilling dingers, which is probably a better long-term fit anyway.
Carpenter has helped lead a revolution in the Bronx instead of re-growing the beard in Boston, and his comments after Sunday’s game further proved he’s an un-cuttable piece of this 9-on-1 offensive barrage the Yankees have going (and the pitching’s not too bad, either).
Imagine if things had fallen the other way, though, and Josh Donaldson hadn’t been forced out of action at the same time as Giancarlo Stanton? Carpenter could be the new Steve Pearce, ruining another joyous season out of nowhere from somewhere below the Green Monster.
Instead — nope! He’s enthusiastically ours. Best-case scenario.