New York Yankees fans love Matt Carpenter. There’s no reason to dislike the guy. From the day he was brought in until he suffered an injury, the ride was as jovial as it could possibly be. His renaissance has been a pleasure to watch.
However, after breaking his foot last week, the Yankees have cratered, and it’s made fans realize something they’d rather not — Carpenter’s success was never meant to be an integral part of the 2022 Yankees, meaning general manager Brian Cashman’s roster construction has once again failed.
The Yankees took a flier on Carpenter as he was re-working his swing after struggling mightily from 2019-2021. The Cardinals cut him loose after he hit .169 with a .581 OPS in 130 games last year. Then the Rangers signed him to a minor-league deal. He raked at Triple-A Round Rock, but Texas opted not to bring him up to the MLB roster. As a result, Carp opted out of his deal and became a free agent.
Yes, Cashman was shrewd to take a chance on a player who was once among the most feared bats in the league, but Carpenter’s .305/.412/.727 slash line with 28 runs scored, 15 home runs and 37 RBI was supposed to supplement the Yankees current group of players — not act as the deciding factor for the offense’s success.
But that’s exactly what happened. Obviously, other injuries have rocked the roster and have contributed to the poor play, but this kind of a nosedive in offensive output as a result of Carpenter being out of the lineup just further proves the remaining starters and additional depth players cannot get the job done, further reflecting poorly on Cashman.
Matt Carpenter is awesome, but the Yankees shouldn’t suffer this badly without him
DJ LeMahieu and Anthony Rizzo missing time over the past couple weeks has been a killer, as has Giancarlo Stanton being out since July 23 … but let’s look elsewhere, shall we?
- Gleyber Torres – .247 AVG, .729 OPS, 107 OPS+
- Isiah Kiner-Falefa – .269 AVG, .640 OPS, 85 OPS+
- Josh Donaldson – .223 AVG, .690 OPS, 97 OPS+
- Aaron Hicks – .218 AVG, .644 OPS, 88 OPS+
- Marwin Gonzalez – .210 AVG, .621 OPS, 78 OPS+
- Andrew Benintendi – .211 AVG, .657 OPS, 90 OPS+ since trade
- Miguel Andújar – .239 AVG, .526 OPS, 52 OPS+
Not one of those players has stepped up in the wake of injuries. Torres, IKF, Donaldson, Hicks and Benintendi are starters. Gonzalez and Andújar are depth pieces.
Carpenter hit the shelf on Aug. 9 after leaving last Monday’s game with the foot injury. The Yankees have played seven games since then, and it’s been their worst seven-game stretch in franchise history. What’re we doing here?
Meanwhile, manager Aaron Boone thinks Gonzalez, who’s had nine plate appearances since July 24 and hasn’t gotten a hit since July 6 (which came off a position player!) was going to provide a “spark” on Tuesday?
The Yankees are lost in so many ways, but fans might’ve been able to see many of the issues that were bound to reappear based on the team’s performance in 2020 and 2021.
Never in a million years did anybody think a midseason pickup, in the form of a 36-year-old over-the-hill veteran, going down with an injury would make the offense the worst in MLB over the course of a week. Unbelievable.