Matt Carpenter injury presents another huge roster problem for Yankees


After the New York Yankees built depth before 5:59 p.m. ET on Aug. 2, general manager Brian Cashman killed it by trading Jordan Montgomery with no plan to replace him. Then, in short order, Anthony Rizzo went down with a back injury, and now Matt Carpenter will be out for an extended period of time — if not the rest of the season.

The 36-year-old slugger left Monday night’s game against the Seattle Mariners (a win, by the way!) in the third inning after fouling a pitch off his foot in the first. Carpenter limped around after it had happened and finished the at-bat with a strikeout. Clearly in pain, though, any other outcome would’ve been surprising.

Later in the game, fans learned Carpenter suffered a fractured foot, which will keep him out for at least a month. The severity of the fracture is unclear, but it seems like Yankees fans might be looking at a best-case scenario of Carpenter missing a month, if we’re to compare Dodgers utility man Chris Taylor’s similar injury situation from a little over a month ago (he hit the IL on July 6 and returned on Aug. 6).

That would perhaps be an overly optimistic viewpoint, however. The bigger concern is replacing Carpenter’s production in the lineup. He’s been a consistent source of all-around offensive production, only akin to Aaron Judge at the moment.

What’s the Yankees’ plan to absorb such a loss? Rely on an Andrew Benintendi resurgence? He did have two doubles and three RBI in Monday’s win. Does this mean more playing time for Tim Locastro? Is this why the Yankees kept Miguel Andújar instead of trading him at the deadline?

Matt Carpenter’s injury is a big, big problem for the Yankees right now

Oh, never mind, that’s what the Yankees got Harrison Bader for. Ah, whoops, never mind. He might miss the rest of the season, too.

This is especially concerning because, once again, the team lied about Stanton’s injury. The slugger was supposed to miss 2-3 weeks. We’re now on Week 3 and Stanton is still partaking in baseball activities, which he got the “day off” from on Monday. So he’s nowhere close to a return.

Then there’s Rizzo, who’s missed four straight games due to a back issue. There’s no clarity if he’ll return on Tuesday. It’s the classic Yankees diagnosis of “we’ll see.”

Convenient. The Yankees started off this crucial 15-game stretch against the Mariners, Red Sox, Rays, Blue Jays and Mets with a win, but this is only the beginning, and nothing has shown fans over the last two months that this team is capable of any sort of positive consistency.

With Andújar expected to take Carpenter’s roster spot, that just doesn’t instill much hope, since he asked for a trade before the deadline and wasn’t granted his wish. What reason does he have to want to be here? All this really means is it’ll create a greater need for production from Locastro, Benintendi, Aaron Hicks and Marwin Gonzalez. Really doesn’t make you feel good.

Carpenter’s loss also takes a “feel good” element away from the Yankees clubhouse — something that’s really needed now that the vibes are sour after the Monty trade. The man’s career was nearly over after being let go by the Cardinals and shunned by the Rangers after a Triple-A stint, and then he experienced a renaissance in New York that provided a necessary positive storyline for a locker room that’s typically devoid of emotion.

The Yankees didn’t exactly properly address their roster deficiencies at the trade deadline, and now they’re taking more hits. A stretch of good play over the next two weeks against stiff competition is going to take a lot of focus and dedication. Big test incoming for a team that badly needs to pass one.