Need a left-handed power bat off the bench in the ALDS who can supplement Anthony Rizzo and Oswaldo Cabrera’s efforts and complement Aaron Judge? Who but W.B. Maso–sorry, Matt Carpenter?!
The Yankees’ best and most surprising power hitter of June and July (take that, Aaron Judge!), who recorded 15 homers in just 128 at-bats with New York this summer before fracturing his foot, has seen his return go from pipe dream to reality over the past several weeks.
And even if a playoff return ends up being unwise? Seems like … seems like Carpenter’s going to go ahead and do it anyway.
After all, how often does a chance like this come along? And how often do you get to live out a season where you smash a homer every 8.53 at-bats?!
The last time Carpenter appeared in an MLB game, it was the Yankees’ Aug. 8 win in Seattle, when they snapped a five-game losing streak to pull to 71-39. The next time he appears in an MLB game will be the 2022 postseason. A whole lot happened between those points. Happy to sum it up later. But the Yankees are just about at the point where they can think about October now, and Carpenter’s vowed to force himself into the equation.
Yankees slugger Matt Carpenter wants to return for 2022 MLB Playoffs
Carpenter, in the polar opposite of another Yankee outfielder’s situation, would be welcomed back to the Bronx with deafening cheers if he happens to wander back onto the field after being “under the weather.”
The latest Carpenter x-rays showed enough healing that the Yankees were encouraged he could potentially be back for a postseason series. If New York holds onto the East, this equation gets easier to solve, too; that would mean their first postseason series wouldn’t begin until Tues., Oct. 11.
Of course, Carpenter doesn’t seem to care whether he has an extra week to heal or the postseason starts tomorrow. He’ll be available.
The Aaron Hicks postseason roster debate was already a whirlwind before Carpenter threw his hat in the ring.
Now, even more than before, it seems likely the team will give Carp the go-ahead and carry Marwin González for versatility, leaving Hicks out of the clubhouse and back in street clothes.
No matter who the corresponding move is, though, Carpenter knows the Yankees want him on that wall. They need him on that wall. And this could all get very crowded if he makes good on his latest declaration.