1. Matt Carpenter
Somehow, Modern-Day Lumberjack Matt Carpenter truly believes he’ll be back slugging in time for the postseason. That seems like a good thing, considering he still leads the team in OPS, ahead of Aaron Judge (fine, fine, you have to take all plate appearance parameters off, but … still!).
Carpenter, who’s reportedly still walking with a limp, seems determined to crash the Yankees’ final regular-season series of the year against the Texas Rangers, otherwise known as the team that let him go midseason because they couldn’t find an opportunity for him. Oops!
It would be … really nice for the Yankees to clinch the AL East by then so that final road set can be a true free-for-all, as well as a pressure-free audition for Carpenter.
Even if things don’t go seamlessly, though, it seems perfectly alright to carry Carpenter as a low-risk postseason option. His fit is obvious. He might not be starting, but he’ll be raking. He’s a better option in a pinch than anyone else on the team’s current bench. He won’t steal reps from any current Yankees starter in rhythm. He’ll just rake.
And, again, he’s very determined to return, no matter what the doctors tell him.
Carpenter’s fracture is on his back foot, just like LeMahieu’s troublesome toe issue. If he can’t quite recapture the early-season magic, we’ll regretfully understand. But what do the Yankees really have to lose here? A few October Marwin González at-bats?