Before his first series in St. Louis since leaving the Cardinals, Yankees slugger Matt Carpenter got emotional revealing how much his family is excited to return, especially his five-year-old son.
“Depending on the day, he tells his buddies he’s a Cardinal or a Yankee, he doesn’t know,” Carpenter said. “When we told them last week we were coming to St. Louis, they were pretty excited.”
At that point, Carpenter got choked up and had to take a moment and collect himself.
Up until this year, Carpenter had played his entire career with the Cardinals, making his major league debut in 2011, the same year St. Louis won the World Series, and played his final game with the team last year. He peaked from ’12 to ’18, making three All-Star games and hitting over 20 home runs in four years. He also led the major leagues with 199 hits in ’13.
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However, the last few seasons were rough for Carpenter and the Cardinals. In 2021, he only hit three home runs with a .581 OPS in 249 plate appearances, which stopped him from signing a major-league deal as a free agent.
Carpenter spent the offseason trying to reshape his swing, insisting that he wasn’t finished as a major leaguer. He played the first part of the season in the Rangers minor leagues, but opted out of his contract and signed with the Yankees in May. Since then, he has had a resurgence season, totaling 15 home runs and a 1.226 OPS in just 139 plate appearances so far.
Carpenter is starting as the designated hitter and batting third for his return, and he got a great ovation his first time up at bat.
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