The miraculous Matt Carpenter comeback was put on pause last month when the infielder/outfielder for the Yankees fractured his foot. On August 10, it was reported that he would need surgery and be reevaluated in a month, with the club hopeful he could return in 6-8 weeks. Here we are almost a month later and Carpenter has made progress but not much. Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reports that Carpenter underwent some X-rays that showed healing but it isn’t enough to get him out of his protective walking boot. He’ll be reevaluated again in 10-14 days, says manager Aaron Boone.
That essentially eliminates any chance of Carpenter returning at the short end of that 6-8 time frame and even puts the longer end of it in doubt. By the time that next evaluation rolls around, it will already have been six weeks since the injury. Even if Carpenter gets good news at that point, he will surely need some kind of rehab assignment to get him back into game shape after such a long layoff. That could also be a challenge if the injury lingers, as most minor league teams will be winding down their seasons in the coming weeks. The Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders are the Yankee affiliate that goes the latest, though their last scheduled game is September 28, three weeks from today.
Prior to the injury, Carpenter was on an absolute tear, hitting 15 home runs in 47 games and slashing .305/.412/.727 for a wRC+ of 218. It’s all the more remarkable given that Carpenter was hitting at a below-average rate in the previous three seasons. The club has seemingly missed that hot bat, going 10-13 since August 10. They have a 4 1/2 game lead over the Rays and a six game cushion on the Blue Jays in the AL East race.
Some other tidbits from around the league…
- Dodgers righty Tony Gonsolin was placed on the IL due to a forearm strain August 29, but since the move was retroactive to August 26, he’s eligible to come off in a few days. Gonsolin has been playing catch in recent days, which is perhaps a sign that he’s not far from returning. However, it’s not all good news, with Juan Toribio of MLB.com relaying word from manager Dave Roberts that Gonsolin isn’t progressing as quickly as they initially hoped for. The Dodgers are virtually guaranteed a bye through the first round of the playoffs and can take their time with Gonsolin, though it’s at least noteworthy that the plan isn’t on schedule so far. The righty had enjoyed a tremendous breakout season, throwing 128 1/3 innings with a 2.10 ERA, 23.7% strikeout rate, 7.2% walk rate and 43.2% groundball rate.
- White Sox righty Michael Kopech landed on the IL August 23 due to a knee strain but was activated today after a minimum stint. After missing all of 2019 and 2020, Kopech threw 69 1/3 innings last year and has already jumped up to 110 2/3 here in 2022, coming into today’s action. He’s fared well overall on the season, registering a 3.58 ERA, though his 21.4% strikeout rate and 12% are both a bit worse than league average, with a .228 BABIP likely helping him keep that ERA down. The club will be looking for a strong finish from Kopech and the team overall, as they are currently three games back of the Guardians in the Central and 7 1/2 out of a Wild Card spot.
- The Rays have reinstated infielder Brandon Lowe from the IL, per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Lowe landed on the shelf due to a right triceps contusion but has now returned after a minimum stay. It was the second IL stint of the year for Lowe, who also missed about two months due to a back issue. Despite the multiple ailments, he’s still hitting .234/.319/.405 on the season for a wRC+ of 114. That’s a bit of a drop-off from his previous seasons but still 14% above league average. Tampa is in the thick of all the American League action, sitting 4 1/2 games behind the Yankees in the East while grappling with the Mariners and Blue Jays for the top Wild Card spot.