Yankees veteran infielder set to start rehab assignment

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Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees are gearing up for their Sunday afternoon matchup against the Tampa Bay Rays while also looking forward to the return of a key veteran who is expected to begin a rehab assignment early next week.

General Manager Brian Cashman announced that veteran DJ LeMahieu will start his rehab assignment on Tuesday. The 35-year-old has been sidelined with a severe bruise on his right foot but is anticipated to be a significant addition to an infield that has struggled defensively in the early weeks of the 2024 regular season.

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

The Yankees Need More Infield Support

Last year, LeMahieu batted .243 with a .327 on-base percentage and a .390 slugging percentage, including 15 home runs and 44 RBIs. His 22.2% strikeout rate was almost 10% higher than in 2022, yet he maintained a double-digit walk rate and improved his performance after the All-Star break following the departure of hitting coach Dillon Lawson.

Upon his return, LeMahieu is set to bolster the third base position, currently manned by Oswaldo Cabrera. While Cabrera has had defensive challenges, his offensive contributions have been vital in offsetting LeMahieu’s absence.

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Credit: Michael Chow/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

Last season, LeMahieu logged 592.2 innings in the field, achieving a .994 fielding percentage with three defensive runs saved and three outs above average.

LeMahieu’s return will provide much-needed support for the Yankees’ infield, allowing Cabrera to resume his role as a super-utility player. This flexibility will enable the team to give days off to other players and help manage fatigue. LeMahieu will likely require a few games in the minors before making his comeback to the major league lineup.

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