TORONTO — Last weekend, Aaron Boone joked that he’s able to put Matt Carpenter on a shelf and then take him “out for a spin” once a week. The veteran infielder has proved to be an invaluable bench player for the Yankees so far this season. His ability to be quick and effective in limited and sporadic playing times has been impressive.
“When he came to us after being at home for several days, and immediately coming in and batting impressively. And then sitting there again and starting and batting impressively regardless of the results, which has obviously been great,” Boone said. “I mean, it’s just you seeing what the quality of the batting is like and he’s in a really good spot. I think he’s come here and fit in with the group immediately and would really love to be here.” And he’s kept himself ready and ready. Being around him has a few things he’s worked on over the winter. He just knows how to be ready to go.”
So on Saturday, facing the Blue Jays’ tough right-hander Alec Manoah, Boone pushed Carpenter through a lineup that was in line with his left-handed hitters.
“Why not? He’s a Lefty Bat, [controls the zone]’Obviously swinging pretty well,'” Boone said of the option to pursue him. “Yeah, I thought it was the right thing to do.”
It is also where Carpenter influenced most of his career. For the former St. Louis Cardinal, it was the 762nd start of his career.
He has been dominant wherever the Yankees have hit him, or whenever they decide to use him. In 11 games this season, Carpenter has had eight hits and six of them for home runs. He has scored 13 runs.
Having a left-handed power option off the bench has helped Boone a lot.
“Huge. And the quality obviously gives us a little bit more variety. Then, you going up against a guy like Manoah to be able to get another high-end lefty just gives you a good chance,” Boone said. Told.
The Yankees signed Carpenter on May 26 partly because Josh Donaldson and Giancarlo Stanton were on the injured list and needed another bat.
Chapman in Tampa
Close Aroldis Chapman, who is on the injured list with an Achilles problem, was due to have a live batting practice at the Yankees Player Development Complex in Tampa on Saturday.
“I think he’ll throw another live [session], assuming that today, in the next few days everything will be fine. Probably on Tuesday when we’ll be there,” Boone said, referring to the next stop on this six-game road trip, when the Yankees play the Rays in St.
Chapman has been on IL since May 24 and has been working on his delivery as much as rehab during this time. He worked with pitching coach Matt Blake last week to get some over-rotation out of his delivery.
The 34-year-old has lost speed on all his pitches, including his fastball which now sits at around 97 mph. The exit velocity from their pitches increased as did the launch angle. The hitters are scoring .418 runs against him, a jump from .359 last season. His K% is the lowest since 2015 at 22.7% and he is carrying a career-high ERA (3.86).
Meanwhile, in Chapman’s absence, the Yankees found Clay Holmes a very reliable close. He has converted all his 11 chances and hasn’t let the team score on him since April 8.
Jack Britton, who had elbow reconstructive surgery in October, is “doing well,” and will join the team to continue parts of his rehab in Tampa next week.
“Jack is throwing the bullpen, he’ll throw a bullpen with us in Tampa. Whether he’ll be in [player development] Complex or possibly Tropicana and then he’ll fly back to New York with us. That’s the plan,” Boone said. “After that he’d really start like a ‘deload’ for 10 days. But he’s doing really well.”
The Briton, who is a free agent after this season, will reduce his throw and rest the arm, Boone explained. Lefty is still on track for a potential late-season return.