Even as things began going right for the New York Yankees, another key player was lost to injury.
Hot-hitting Matt Carpenter was diagnosed with a left foot fracture, after fouling a ball off his back foot during Monday night’s first inning at Seattle.
Results of Carpenter’s X-Rays were revealed by the Yankees during their eventual 9-4 win against the Mariners, snapping a season-high, five-game losing streak.
“Pretty disappointing,” Carpenter told reporters after the game. “But my mindset is that it won’t be the end for me here this year.
“Hopeful that I can come back and contribute.”
Carpenter is expected to see a foot specialist. Until then, there is no specific timeline for his return, but it might not be until late September at the earliest.
Serving as the Yanks’ designated hitter Monday, the lefty-hitting Carpenter hobbled around after slamming a slider by right-hander Logan Gilbert off the top of his left foot.
Carpenter finished his at-bat by striking out and was replaced by pinch-hitter Tim Locastro in the third inning.
“I knew something was wrong when I did it,” Carpenter told reporters, adding that he might have made matters worse if he had to run the bases.
“It’s a blow,” manager Aaron Boone told reporters. “Hopefully, we’ll get him back at some point…but we’ll pick him up.”
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Miguel Andujar might get the call
Carpenter’s injury could be an opportunity for Miguel Andujar or Estevan Florial to return to the Yankees, with both having success at Class AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Through Sunday, Andujar, 27, was batting 293 with 12 homers and 46 RBI in 64 games, with an .835 OPS.
Converted into a capable left fielder, the right-handed hitting Andujar has been viewed as organizational depth.
It’s been a frustrating situation for the 2018 AL Rookie of the Year runner-up, who has requested to be traded due to the lack of opportunity with the Yankees.
Entering this week, Florial, 24, was batting .281 with 14 homers, 36 RBI and an .847 OPS in 84 games.
A plus-defender in center field, the lefty-hitting Florial – once considered among the club’s most elite prospects but derailed partly due to his injury history – has 31 stolen bases in 38 attempts.
Making an impact
Boone called a team meeting prior to Monday’s game at Seattle, following a three-game sweep at St. Louis, with losses of 4-3, 1-0 and 12-9.
After Carpenter’s lone at-bat, Josh Donaldson picked him up with a two-run single, starting a four-hit night that included a homer and two doubles, with three RBI.
Andrew Benintendi also collected two doubles and three RBI, while Aaron Judge blasted his 44th homer of the year, staying ahead of Roger Maris’ 1961 pace when he set the single-season franchise record for home runs with 61.
But Carpenter’s loss is an extremely tough break for the Yankees (71-39) who had come to depend on the 36-year-old former three-time NL All-Star with St. Louis as a DH and occasional first baseman and right fielder.
“And he’s become such an important factor in that room,” Boone told reporters. “Everyone loves him, and he’s been incredibly productive.”
To that point, struggling right-hander Jameson Taillon lasted seven innings for the victory and credited a morning text from Carpenter, telling him to trust his stuff and go on the attack.
“He’s made an impact,” Taillon told reporters, describing Carpenter as one of the best teammates he’s been around.
Anthony Rizzo, Giancarlo Stanton making progress
Picked up after the Texas Rangers released him in May from their Triple-A affiliate, Carpenter was batting .307 in 46 games entering Monday, with 15 homers and 37 RBI.
Carpenter was batting third in the order Monday, for the third time in the last four games, with first baseman Anthony Rizzo sidelined for a fourth straight game with lower back tightness.
Monday at Seattle, Rizzo went through baseball activities – including indoor swings – for the first time since being scratched from Friday night’s lineup at St. Louis.
Boone said there “was a chance” that Rizzo would return to the Yanks’ lineup as early as Tuesday night, against scheduled starter Luis Castillo.
The prized right-hander, dealt by the Cincinnati Reds before last Tuesday’s MLB trade deadline – and coveted by the Yankees, among other contenders – will be rematched against Gerrit Cole, who gave up six runs in the first inning of last Wednesday’s matchup at the Stadium.
Giancarlo Stanton (left Achilles strain) has been ramping up his baseball activity, including hitting off a machine. The next step will be to face live pitching, possibly later this week.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Yankees’ Matt Carpenter suffers foot fracture vs. Mariners
Source: Yahoo Sports