SEATTLE — Matt Carpenter, who saw his career reborn after signing with the Yankees on May 26, fouled a ball off the top of his left foot in the first inning Monday night and suffered a fracture, the club announced.
Carpenter fouled a slider from starter Logan Gilbert off the foot. He was briefly checked by manager Aaron Boone, finished the at-bat and struck out swinging. Tim Locastro pinch hit for him in the third.
Carpenter, 36, came into the night hitting .307 with 15 homers and a 1.146 OPS in 46 games. It is too soon to declare his season over, as the severity of the fracture was not immediately known. But the lefty-swinging utilityman, whose hot bat forced the Yankees to find playing time for him in the outfield, figures to be out a minimum of four to six weeks.
Boone has talk with sputtering Yankees
With his team winless since last Tuesday’s trade deadline — and skidding a bit for the last month-plus — Boone thought Monday afternoon was a good time to address his players regarding the stretch run.
Far from a strip-the-paint-from-the-walls speech, it was more a reminder of the talent in the clubhouse after, in Boone’s words, the “dust settling” and the addition of four players.
“[The message] was this is our group now and we have everything we need in that room,” Boone said before Monday night’s game against Seattle as the Yankees, 9-16 in their last 25 games, tried to snap a season-high five-game losing streak.
“We’ll obviously be getting some guys back in the mix coming off the IL and things like that, but just reminding them we have everything in that room to get through this and realize our goal of being a champion. That’s where the focus lies and is, and I feel like they’re in a good place with that.”
It generally is a fool’s errand to affix too much meaning and impact to team meetings. As general manager Brian Cashman said after holding one while his club was in a major slide in early September 2020: “Talk is cheap, and all that matters is the performance.”
After Cashman’s talk, the Yankees faced Toronto and lost, 2-1.
Rizzo gradually improving
Anthony Rizzo did not start for the fourth straight game with lower-back tightness, though he did swing a bat indoors for the first time since becoming a late scratch from Friday night’s game in St. Louis with the ailment.
Boone said he didn’t anticipate using Rizzo in a pinch-hit situation Monday night, but the first baseman was scheduled to go through the most pregame work he’s done since Friday.
“Hoping to go through kind of a full day and hopefully be able to tolerate everything and be in position to play tomorrow,” Boone said. “We’ll see as the day unfolds, but [he’s] doing a lot better.”