The New York Yankees can’t afford to lose any starting infielders, which is why dodging two injury bullets with DJ LeMahieu and Gleyber Torres is a massive sigh of relief.
Torres pulled up a bit limpy during Tuesday’s game, forcing him out prematurely with a supposed groin injury. Manager Aaron Boone gave Gleyber the night off on Wednesday but needed his services on the base paths late in the game to supplement Giancarlo Stanton.
Luckily, Torres seems to be doing just fine, but the Yankees can’t afford to lose him, considering he’s hitting .371 with a .522 OBP to start the year, some of the best numbers on the roster.
“I feel way better than last night and I didn’t feel anything crazy last night,” Torres said. “I did treatment (after the game) and I recovered well.”
Torres hosts a 230 wRC+ and has already recorded 0.8 WAR just 12 games into the regular season. His 23.9% walk rate and 10.9% strikeout rate indicate he’s taking tremendous steps forward with his discipline and swing decisions. Losing Torres now would be a massive blow, but luckily he should be in the lineup for Thursday night’s game against the Minnesota Twins.
The Yankees are getting lucky on the injury front right now:
On the other hand, the Yankees are also monitoring DJ LeMahieu carefully, pulling up with quad tightness on Tuesday as well. LeMahieu has also started off the season strong, hitting .263 with a .333 OBP, hitting one homer with three RBIs. At 34 years old, DJ is coming off a significant injury that ended his 2022 season prematurely.
As the team’s primary lead-off man, the Yankees need LeMahieu 100%, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Boone gave him a few days off, especially coming off their fourth consecutive series win. The Twins have won four of their last six games but have had trouble scoring runs at times, so management may be inclined to give DJ another day to rest.
“In the middle of the game, one of the times getting around the bases (LeMahieu) said it was a little tight on him,” Boone said. “He was able to finish the game. Then there was a little tight after, but he felt like he was going to be fine. I was going to play him (Wednesday), but there’s that lingering tightness in there, so it’s not somebody you want to mess with.”
Boone has already indicated that they will take DJ’s injury carefully and proceed with caution, which is exactly the right move given his value to the team. In the meantime, expect plenty of Isiah Kiner-Falefa manning the hot corner, at least until Josh Donaldson is able to return from his hamstring issue.