After agreeing to a one-year contract with the New York Yankees on Thursday, a week after being released from the Texas Rangers’ minor league system, Carpenter was placed into the lineup as the designated hitter.
Carpenter was inserted into the lineup for the series opener against Tampa Bay when centre fielder Aaron Hicks was pulled due to hamstring pain shortly before game time. Aaron Judge was moved from the defensive backfield to the centre field.
Carpenter said after meeting with manager Aaron Boone at Tropicana Field, “It happened fast and now I’m here and I couldn’t be more excited about it.”
“We just had a quick conversation about it but my response to him is that’s I’m excited to put a uniform on and be part of the best team in baseball right now,” Carpenter said. “I’m just fired up to be here. I’m going to hit the ground running.”
In the Yankees’ 7-2 win, he went 0 for 2 but scored two runs after walking and being hit by a pitch.
Injury-hit Manny Bauelos, a 31-year-old left-hander from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, was also selected by New York. From 2008 until 2014, Bauelos was a member of the Yankees’ minor league system, although he never made it to the big league team.
Carpenter, 36, is signed to a contract that pays him $1 million in the majors and $200,000 in the minors. In 21 games with Round Rock of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, he hit.275 with six homers and 19 RBIs, making him a three-time All-Star with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Carpenter was with the Cardinals for the previous 11 seasons, batting.262 with 155 home runs and 576 RBIs. In 207 at-bats, he hit.169 with three home runs and 21 RBIs.
This season, he started 19 games at first base, one at third base, and two at designated hitter.
Due to an injured left wrist, DJ LeMahieu, who has split time at third base with Josh Donaldson while also playing first and second, missed the final two games of a series against Baltimore and was not in the starting lineup on Thursday night.
According to Boone, Donaldson stayed in New York with a cough and felt better after IV fluids. Donaldson is still COVID-19 negative.
Carpenter may play first base, third base, right field, and possibly second base, according to Boone.
“He’s someone who’s been on our radar the last couple of months,” Boone said. “We’ve been eyeing him for a while as a left-handed bat off the bench. … Just a professional guy from the left side, and we feel he can help us.”
While in the majors, Bauelos is paid $800,000, and in the minors, he is paid $150,000. He was given the number 68, which was formerly worn by old pal Dellin Betances with the Yankees.
In 14 starts and seven relief appearances with the Atlanta Braves in 2015 and the Chicago White Sox in 2019, he went 4-8 with a 6.31 ERA. In 302/3 innings for Scranton, Bauelos is 0-2 with a 2.35 ERA in five starts and two relief appearances, striking out 30 and walking 12.
Bauelos, who pitched for Mexico at the Olympics last year, will spend the 2021 season between the Fubon Guardians in Taiwan and the Sultanes de Monterrey in Mexico.
“He was great to be around this spring and he’s pitched really well,” Boone said. “He put himself on our map this spring with his performance and he’s carried that into the season.”
Rob Brantly, a catcher for the New York Yankees, was assigned to the RailRiders on an outright basis. After Wednesday’s 2-0 win, the Yankees optioned left-hander JP Sears and outfielder Estevan Florial to Scranton, freeing up slots on the active 26-man roster.