There is a player who took the opportunity to escape from the crisis due to the injury of San Diego Choi Ji-man (32). This is the story of Matt Carpenter (38), a veteran batter with 174 homers in his career.

The San Diego Tribune, an American media, reported on the 17th (Korean time), “The departure of designated hitter Choi Ji-man, who was acquired through a trade, due to injury, could be an opportunity for veteran designated hitter Carpenter from All-Star.”

Choi Ji-man, who moved from Pittsburgh to San Diego earlier this month, has been unable to play since the 13th due to left rib pain after playing 7 games. San Diego recruited Choi Ji-man in hopes of scoring a shot from the left-handed designated hitter, which was pointed out as a problem during the season, but has yet to live up to expectations.

Veteran Carpenter, who has been in his 13th year in the major leagues this year, is recording 1443 games, a batting average of 0.260 (1220 hits in 4701 at-bats), 174 homers and 640 RBIs. While spending 11 seasons (2011-2021) in St. Louis, he was selected as a National League All-Star three times (2013, 2014, 2016), and ranked first in league hits in 2013 (199) and third in home runs (36) in 2018. He is a right-handed hitter.

After wearing the New York Yankees uniform at the end of May last year, he played in 47 games before suffering an injury at the end of August, with a batting average of 0.305 (39 hits in 128 at-bats), 15 home runs and 37 RBIs. Everyone said it was over, but Carpenter, who had a successful rebound, signed a two-year, $12 million (approximately 16.1 billion won) contract with San Diego ahead of this season.

San Diego expected Carpenter to hit a shot in scoring range as a left-handed designated hitter. But expectations were disappointing. As of the 18th, he has played in 67 games this season and has a batting average of 0.165 (28 hits in 170 at-bats), 4 home runs and 27 RBIs. His combined OPS of on-base percentage and slugging percentage is just 0.595.스포츠토토

For this reason, the San Diego Tribune previously predicted that Carpenter, whose position had narrowed due to the recruitment of Choi Ji-man, would soon be released. In fact, Carpenter stepped on the ground as a pinch hitter in the game against Pittsburgh on the 25th of last month as a pinch hitter, and then kept the bench for more than 20 days, only on the 16th against Baltimore.

The San Diego Tribune said until last week, “San Diego, which has not yet given up on making the playoffs, must release veteran Carpenter as soon as possible to save at least one spot on the roster. Rather, call up a minor league prospect to prepare for the playoffs or next season. It is better to use it as a showcase for prospects for the future,” he advised.

However, the atmosphere is changing as Choi Ji-man leaves due to an injury. San Diego manager Bob Melvin said in an interview with the San Diego Tribune on the 17th, “It’s not easy to put Carpenter on the bench. The longer the period, the harder it gets.”

Coach Melvin continued, “Although Carpenter is unable to play in the game, young players are still helping the team outside of the game by asking him for advice.” I think he can play a negative role. He’s doing well in the clubhouse and he’s a hard-working player.”

The media argued, “If Carpenter continues to be sluggish, it may be an alternative to release him and call up outfielder Oscar Mercado (29) from Minor League Triple-A.”

Mercado, who made his major league debut with Cleveland in 2019, started in St. Louis this season but joined San Diego after being recently released. A member of Triple-A affiliated with San Diego, he has a good sense of hitting, scoring 5 homers and 16 RBIs in the last 10 games. His Triple-A performance this season is a batting average of .310, 12 homers, and 48 RBIs for an OPS of .927.

Attention is focusing on what the fate of Carpenter, who succeeded in rebounding last year and extended his retirement period, will be.

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