Yankees’ Brian Cashman points to major vulnerabilities on the roster

MLB: Washington Nationals at New York Yankees
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Just before the start of the 2024 regular season, the New York Yankees bolstered their infield by acquiring Jon Berti from the Miami Marlins. Initially stepping in to cover third base during DJ LeMahieu’s absence, Berti’s stint was cut short due to a groin injury that landed him on the 10-day injured list.

Yankees’ Injuries and Rehab Efforts in the Infield

Berti wasn’t the only Yankee dealing with injuries. Veteran infielder DJ LeMahieu also faced setbacks in his recovery from a spring training incident where he fouled a ball off his foot. LeMahieu embarked on a rehab assignment only to exit the game after one at-bat due to discomfort in his foot.

MLB: Spring Training-Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees
Mar 11, 2024; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees third baseman DJ LeMahieu (26) singles during the second inning against the Baltimore Orioles at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

During an event at the Bronx Children’s Museum, General Manager Brian Cashman discussed the challenges facing the infield, particularly highlighting the lack of depth.

“I don’t feel like we have a (backup) first baseman right now on the roster,” he said, via The Athletic. “Rizzo is being run out there every day. Obviously, if LeMahieu was here, you could swing DJ over and give us some coverage. I know Cabrera can play first but then who’s playing third? I feel like we have a little bit of exposure at first base coverage behind Rizzo and the left side of the infield coverage is exposed with Berti down and LeMahieu down. We’re a little bit vulnerable because of that. We have a little bit of a hiccup there that we were hoping would get solved with LeMahieu coming back soon. It is what it is.”

Managing the Current Roster and Looking Ahead

With LeMahieu sidelined, the Yankees lack suitable options to rest Rizzo, who is just beginning to find his form this season. Rizzo is hitting .242/.314/.358 with three homers and 11 RBIs, showing signs of improvement in his recent games with two home runs, three hits, and three RBIs.

MLB: Oakland Athletics at New York Yankees
Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

As the Yankees navigate these infield challenges, they will rely heavily on players like Rizzo and Oswaldo Cabrera, who continues to cover third base. The team may consider using the trade deadline to bolster their infield, particularly if Gleyber Torres continues his offensive struggles.

The first 25 games of the season have shown volatility within the infield unit, and management remains hopeful that key players like Anthony Volpe, Rizzo, and Torres will find consistency. However, with ongoing injuries and performance issues, the Yankees may need to explore external solutions to stabilize their roster.

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