The New York Yankees are taking a cautious approach with star infielder DJ LeMahieu, who’s been dealing with toe inflammation the past few weeks.
LeMahieu‘s numbers have degraded quickly in the month of August, hitting .250 with a 33% on base rate, which is better than most but down significantly from his elite July numbers. He hit .344 with a 46% on-base rate, four homers, and 11 RBIs before the injury began to aggravate him.
However, the Yankees will continue to utilize LeMahieu strategically, bringing him in in the bottom of the 7th inning against the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday night.
He slapped a single to shallow right field, moving José Treviño to second base. Shortly after, Aaron Judge walked with the bases loaded, driving in a run, but the team failed to extrapolate on their advantageous situation.
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Nonetheless, he is making great progress with the injury, expecting to return this upcoming week as his toe recovers.
“Hopefully these three or four days off really puts it in the right direction,” LeMahieu said.
DJ LeMahieu has been fantastic for the Yankees this year:
On the season, DJ is hitting .281 with a 38% on-base rate, 12 homers, and 43 RBIs. He features a career-best 13. 3% walk rate and 12.9% strikeout rate, his lowest number since 2016.
Watching his team struggle has been a difficult scenario for the utilityman, but he’s willing to make an impact whenever called upon.
“The last three days, it’s definitely hard to watch and not be a part of it,” LeMahieu said. “But I tell them how I feel and we go from there.”
Prior to Wednesday’s walk-off win against Tampa Bay, the Yankees had only scored one total run in their previous three games combined.
The hope is the Yankees’ electrifying comeback will spark a slumping team that has been struggling since after the All-Star break. The return of LeMahieu will provide a significant boost, but the team is also expecting slugger Giancarlo Stanton to return next week after a minor league rehab assignment.