Yankees down to their last utility infielder after latest injury

MLB: Miami Marlins at New York Yankees
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees are ecstatic about the expected return of veteran infielder DJ LeMahieu since they can desperately use his services with another utility man going down to injury.

The Yankees recently acquired Jon Berti from the Miami Marlins just before the season started, and he had been earning reps at third base alongside Oswaldo Cabrera to open the year.

Unfortunately, Berti was diagnosed with a left groin strain and placed on the 10-day injured list. After legging out a single on Wednesday against the Marlins late in the game, it seems as if Berti pulled a muscle and will need a few days of rest.

Fortunately, the injury doesn’t seem to be anything serious, but Berti is expected to have an impact this year at 34 years old coming off one of his best seasons in 2023.

“I don’t think it’s overly severe, but I don’t have a timeline for you,” Boone said on Saturday.

The Yankees Know Berti Can Offer Good Support on Both Sides of the Ball

Bertie hit .294/.344/.405 last season across 133 games, including seven homers, 33 RBIs, and 16 stolen bases. He stole 41 bags from Miami back in 2022, showcasing his speed.

Defensively, he’s one of the better defenders the Yankees have had at the position in quite some time, posting 5 defensive runs saved and 2 outs above average on the hot corner last year.

This season, he’s already collected 2 defensive runs saved and 1 out above average over 49 innings. Still, he struggled offensively, and the Bombers transitioned to Cabrera while LeMahieu worked his way back.

For now, Cabrera is the team’s only utility man, but he will have to start at third base with injuries taking hold. However, the 25-year-old has been excellent in the batters box across his first 12 games, hitting .289/.347/.533, including three homers, 11 RBIs, a 22.4% strikeout rate, and an 8.2% walk rate with a 154 wRC+.

LeMahieu’s return will likely push Cabrera back into his normal super-utility role, which is exactly where the Yankees need him to be to help supplement deficiencies and injuries.

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