San Diego Padres designated hitter Matt Carpenter has returned to Yankee Stadium for the first time since playing with New York a season ago. Before going hitless in the Padres' 5-1 win over the Yankees Friday, Carpenter revealed that he played through an injury in the 2022 MLB Playoffs.
Matt Carpenter suffered a broken foot on Aug. 8 of last year that forced him to miss the remainder of the regular season. After posting a massive 1.138 OPS with 15 home runs in just 47 games for the Yankees, Carpenter returned in New York's second playoff game. The veteran was a different player in the postseason, still not healed from the foot injury that cost him the last several weeks of the regular season.
“I probably pushed it more than I should have to come back and play in October and it kind of cost me the rest of my offseason,” Carpenter said, via NJ.com, before Friday’s Yankees-Padres game. “My foot just never healed. It was broken all the way until basically the day I signed [with San Diego].”
It seemed evident that Carpenter wasn't completely healthy upon his return. In 12 playoff at-bats for the Yankees, Carpenter was lost at the plate, registering just one hit to go along with nine strikeouts.
Following his disastrous postseason, Carpenter left the Yankees for the Padres in free agency.
“I wasn’t healthy, didn’t really have the at-bats under me, the timing wasn’t there and I just wasn’t able to do what I knew I wanted to or was capable of doing,” Carpenter said. “I just had to try to make the most of it, battle and we ran into a really good Houston team that obviously won the whole thing. They were a tough team to beat. Obviously we would have loved to finish that one off, but it is what it is.”
It was likely that more than just the foot injury that prevented Carpenter from recapturing the magic he had last summer. After hitting .305/.412/.727 with New York, Carpenter is hitting .179/.305/.358 in 39 games with San Diego.