Carter heads to 10-day IL with lower back injury

May 28th, 2024

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers are trading out one rookie sensation for another.

As outfielder Wyatt Langford was activated from the injured list after rehabbing a hamstring injury on Tuesday, fellow rookie continues the Rangers’ injury epidemic, landing himself on the 10-day IL with lower back soreness.

Carter missed seven games from May 11-17 with back soreness, but returned without an IL stint initially.

He missed time in the Minors with a stress fracture in his back in 2021, so the Rangers have been trying to be cautious with him.

That being said, manager Bruce Bochy said he believes Carter tried to play through this particular back injury without disclosing to the coaching or training staff how much it affected him.

“With Evan, I think he knew, honestly,” Bochy said. “I don’t think he was being totally honest with us. Even the last game, I guess, it was really starting to bother him. It was pretty evident. Now when you look back at some of the at-bats, he just had a hard time getting his swing off.

“[Young players] don’t want to say anything because they think they can play through it. It’s a teaching moment. You have to look at the long term. There’s a whole season. If you need a day off or a couple days off, whatever it is, you got to let us know. We can’t help you unless we know.”

Carter entered the season as one of the top five prospects in baseball, according to MLB Pipeline, after making his MLB debut late last season. He hit .306 with a 1.058 OPS in 23 regular-season games, and then appeared in every game of the Rangers’ World Series run, hitting .300 with a .917 OPS in the postseason.

This season hasn’t quite yielded the same results for the 21-year-old. He’s currently riding a nine-game hitless streak (0-for-20) with seven strikeouts and just one walk. Additionally, he has a .095/.156/.143 slash line over his last 15 games.

“I think this will be good for him,” Bochy said. “I think it’ll be good to reset. I see a guy that was having trouble getting his swing off like he wanted. He’s a disciplined hitter, but there were some pitches that he normally goes after. Whether that hesitation was because of the back, he can answer that better, but I think that there's a physical side and a mental side. It’ll just be a good reset for him.”