Yankees’ DJ LeMahieu gets positive injury news on lingering toe issue

Alexander Wilson
yankees, dj lemahieu
Jul 17, 2022; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees third baseman DJ LeMahieu (26) runs out an RBI single against the Boston Red Sox during the fourth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees’ downfall in the postseason was partly due to excessive injuries across-the-board. One of the biggest losses was star infielder DJ LeMahieu, who sustained a toe injury that completely dampened the second half of the season, forcing him to miss the playoffs.

The 34-year-old played in 125 games this past season, the lowest number since his 2013 campaign with the Colorado Rockies. Despite missing a bit of time, he still managed to hit .261 with a 35.7% on-base rate, 12 homers, and 46 RBIs. He logged a 13.1% strikeout rate, his lowest metric since 2016, and a career-high 12.4% walk rate. Altogether, it seemed as if DJ had a decent campaign, despite it ending prematurely.

The Yankees are still unsure of the best recovery path for DJ LeMahieu:

LeMahieu is still trying to figure out the best path to recovery, whether that may include surgery or healing on its own.

“He’s getting all the choices. He’s chosen to go with the conservative route, which will take some time. If that doesn’t resolve itself, then the surgical route would be in play, but I don’t think we’d know that for another six weeks. So, clearly, if things don’t play out well and surgery has to happen, then that will certainly move the goalposts back a lot. We’ll have to wait and see.

DJ was working his way back diligently, indicating that defensive play disrupted the rehabilitation process less significantly. Batting was the real pain driver, twisting his back foot and putting pressure on the injury.

“But I do know this: He feels really good right now. But he’s not playing. So it would be easier to feel better, you would think. I know while he was down and hoping to get back and push his way back into the postseason roster, he wasn’t really feeling perfect. Right now, it feels great. That’s encouraging. But we have too much time on the clock still to let this thing play out. But he’ll see one of our doctors down in Tampa here shortly and we’ll get an update from there.”

There is no clear timetable for the veteran utility man’s return, but obviously, they would love to avoid any surgeries if possible. However, making sure he is 100% for the 2023 campaign is the goal, so any route to expedite that process will be considered.

“We have three different doctors and a lot of different opinions on what specific surgeries would be required,” Cashman said. “It’s undetermined. I couldn’t tell you.”

LeMahieu‘s absence from the playoffs was a significant blow, considering he’s hit .272 with a 34% on-base rate, three homers, and 11 RBIs in 21 postseason games. They missed his ability to get on base early in the batting order, especially with Aaron Judge’s home run-hitting capabilities right behind.