Yankees injury update on star utilityman DJ LeMahieu

Alexander Wilson
yankees, dj lemahieu
Jul 30, 2022; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees first baseman DJ LeMahieu (26) hits an RBI single against the Kansas City Royals during the fourth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees are getting healthier by the day, returning starting pitcher Luis Severino on Wednesday against the Pittsburgh Pirates. In his first game back after being placed on the 60-day IL in July, he gave up one earned run over 5.0 innings.

Severino is further making a good argument that he should be the No. 3 option in the starting rotation during the playoffs.

The Yankees are getting expecting another impact player to return:

The team is also expecting star utilityman DJ LeMahieu back in the coming days, but as long as the squad keeps winning games, there’s no reason to rush him.

“It’s just a tricky situation,” Boone said. “When do you dive all in on letting it? And does that ultimately start a setback? What’s the timeline? What’s the best way to go about this? I don’t really have that answer. Eventually the rubber’s going to meet the road and we’re going to find out, but we’ve got to continue to try and progress to get there.”

LeMahieu hasn’t featured in a game since September 4 against the Tampa Bay Rays. The right big-toe injury was clearly impacting his ability in the batter’s box, noting that it doesn’t bother him so much on the defensive side.

The Yankees will need DJ LeMahieu’s offensive production in the post-season:

This season, DJ features a .262 average with a 35.8% on-base rate, including 12 homers and 46 RBIs. He also hosts a 13.4% strikeout rate and 12.4% walk rate, both solid numbers that showcase his patience. However, his production has fallen off significantly from his 2019 and 2020 metrics, but he is still an incredibly valuable member of the team, especially as the lead-off man.

When LeMahieu is at the top of his game, he offers a great 1–2 punch in front of Aaron Judge. Given his ability to get on base frequently, Judge is able to avoid solo homers and drive in more base-runners.

However, teams have tried to avoid pitching to Judge given his excellence this season, so leading him off is a great way for the Yankees to make sure he gets hittable pitches.

Nonetheless, there’s no reason for the Yankees to rush back LeMahieu, having just beaten Pittsburgh in two consecutive games.

The Bombers start a four-game series against the Boston Red Sox tonight. As long as they continue to produce offensively, LeMahieu should continue to rest his toe in hopes of being 100% for the playoffs.