Yankees announce that veteran infielder will start rehab assignment today in Double-A

MLB: Spring Training-Atlanta Braves at New York Yankees
Mar 10, 2024; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees third baseman DJ LeMahieu (26) looks on against the Atlanta Braves during the first inning at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

DJ LeMahieu will finally begin his rehab assignment after it was delayed, with the Yankees announcing formally on their X (formerly known as Twitter) page. A foul ball struck the 35-year-old infielder in the right foot, causing an undisplaced fracture there which has sidelined him for the start of the season. With the Yankees nearly done with their April schedule, he has missed nearly a month, but now he’ll head to Somerset to finally get some in-game action and make progress toward being reinstated off the injured list.

Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reports that DJ LeMahieu believes he’ll play fewer than five games with the Somerset Patriots, which means we could see him join the team on their upcoming road trip.

DJ LeMahieu To Begin Rehab Assignment, Yankees Have Infield Depth On the Way

MLB: New York Yankees-Workouts
Feb 20, 2024; Tampa, FL, USA;New York Yankees infielder DJ LeMahieu (26) catches the ball at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees have been without DJ LeMahieu all season, but in his place, Oswaldo Cabrera has emerged as one of their better hitters. Coming through in some huge spots for the Bronx Bombers, the Yankees have seen Cabrera flourish in his role as their everyday third baseman, although defensively he’s struggled (-3 OAA). LeMahieu is their best defensive option at the hot corner, and while he could just slide there, perhaps there’s a different position they try him out at.

With +7 Defensive Runs Saved and +2 Outs Above Average at first base across his five years with the Yankees, perhaps the team slides LeMahieu back there with the struggles Anthony Rizzo has had. The left-handed hitting first baseman has struggled mightily to start the season, posting -2 OAA and having some downright awful numbers at the dish. He’s hitting .227 with a .284 SLG%, failing to do damage on contact or drive the baseball consistently, which has resulted in his production falling off of a cliff.

MLB: New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles
Jul 28, 2023; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; New York Yankees first baseman Anthony Rizzo (48) swings through a fourth-inning single against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Rizzo’s struggles have embodied an offensive slump the team has gone through over the past week, and while LeMahieu had a pedestrian 101 wRC+ last season, it’s certainly an improvement. The Yankees will take all the offense they can get right now, although if Aaron Judge can get the ball rolling again I’m confident runs will follow. They have a chance to get things going now against Oakland before they go on the road to take on the red-hot Brewers and Orioles, both of whom sit atop their respective divisions.

The Yankees will take on the Athletics again tonight, as they hope to put behind them an ugly 2-0 loss and their fourth shutout of the season, while the Somerset Patriots take on the Fightin Phils in Reading. While the Yankees have a Minor League affiliate in Pennsylvania, the Scranton RailRiders are down south playing the Durham Bulls, so that wasn’t considered a viable option.

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