Yankees already have 2 starting infielders fending off injury

MLB: Spring Training-Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees
Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees know they have to be careful regarding injury, so proceeding with caution and giving veterans extra days off should be an expected course of action during the 2024 season. Having already lost Gerrit Cole for several months and Aaron Judge battling an abdominal issue, that doesn’t even mention two starting infielders who are fending off injuries as well.

First and foremost, third baseman DJ LeMahieu fouled a ball off his foot this past weekend, forcing him to spend the last few days rehabilitating and resting after he sustained a significant bone bruise.

LeMahieu’s availability for opening day is certainly in question, and the Yankees have already lost Oswald Peraza for several weeks, so they are thin in the depth category.

The Yankees Are Treading Carefully Around Injuries

This spring, LeMahieu has been a bit inconsistent, playing 10 games and hitting .222/.279/.259, including three RBIs and a 24.1% strikeout rate. In fact, second-year shortstop Anthony Volpe has put together a nice sample size of at-bats with a new swing, suggesting he could win the leadoff job to open the year, especially if DJ is dealing with an injury. Volpe has been showcasing more plate discipline and is hitting .314/.364/.471 over 18 games this spring.

As usual, injuries open up opportunities for others, and Volpe may just be able to steal LeMahieu’s lead-off job away from him if he is forced to miss any time.

However, starting as the first baseman spaceman, Anthony Rizzo was also scratched from Friday’s game due to a lat issue.

Fortunately, Rizzo compared it to something he would deal with in the regular season and likely push through, so he just wanted to get ahead of anything potentially serious.

The veterans are listening to their bodies and not trying to force anything, which is likely part of the team’s strategy to keep them healthy throughout the season. This spring, Rizzo is hitting .412/.512/.676, including two homers and nine RBIs over 14 games. The Yankees can’t afford to lose him, and maintaining his health will be a priority leading up to opening day.

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