The Yankees are getting ridiculous value from veteran utility man

dj lemahieu, yankees
Apr 16, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees third baseman DJ LeMahieu (26) hits an RBI single in the third inning against the Minnesota Twins at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

All the rage is about Oswaldo Cabrera and his super-utility value, but we shouldn’t forget about the Yankees‘ star veteran infielder, who can play multiple positions at an above-average level. DJ LeMahieu, who just returned from a minor quad injury, is off to a red-hot start this season.

At 34 years old, LeMahieu is hitting .283 with a .353 OBP, slapping two homers and six RBIs across 12 games and 51 plate appearances.

LeMahieu’s value and production are simply unparalleled on the Yankees roster, considering his ability to move from the hot corner to second base and even take over at first base to help give Anthony Rizzo rest. When DJ is healthy, the Yankees’ offense is significantly better, and while he does host a 29.4% strikeout rate, the largest number of his career by 10%, it is still early in the season. We should expect that metric to decree significantly over the next few weeks.

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The Yankees are a better team when DJ LeMahieu is healthy:

The veteran is currently on a three-game hitting streak, recording five hits, a homer, and three RBIs over his last 12 at-bats. His contributions should not be overlooked since the Yankees have been dealing with more negative news lately, specifically Giancarlo Stanton’s injury and a few pitching inconsistencies.

LeMahieu is coming back from a significant toe injury that ended his 2022 season prematurely, but he avoided surgery, rehabbing down in Tampa all off-season, preparing for the 2023 campaign.

LeMahieu may not crack a smile, he may not say a word, but you better believe he’s ready to play on any given day. Even when going through a cold streak, DJ finds a way to make an impact, whether it be a stud defensive play or working a walk in a tough situation and fighting off a good at-bat.

To put it lightly, the Yankees are a far better team when DJ is healthy and playing consistent ball. The team got a dose of what life without him is like during the postseason, and considering he features as the team’s primary lead-off man, it is tough to replace him. Nonetheless, he featured in the middle of the Yankees’ batting order on Sunday with Anthony Volpe leading off, in which he posted two hits and made a significant impact in an unusual spot.

It will be essential for the Yankees to give him plenty of rest during the season, ensuring his toe remains healthy and he can maintain his body at 34. The star veteran has dealt with a number of issues in the recent past, so being cautious and utilizing their other utility pieces to give him rest days will be critical down the stretch.