Yankees lose another key infielder to injured list in DJ LeMahieu

Ryan Garcia
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

Aaron Boone was on The Michael Kay Show, where he revealed that the Yankees will place 2B DJ LeMahieu on the Injured List with a sprained toe.

Miguel Andujar will take his place, who stays up after being the 29th man yesterday for the doubleheader. Injuries currently decimate the Yankees, however, DJ LeMahieu’s loss is one that doesn’t change much. He hadn’t been the same since his toe issues, and there was legitimate concern that he couldn’t heal it until the offseason.

While there’s no guarantee that LeMahieu will come back at 100%, it helps him get off his feet and perhaps recover for a late September push and a long October.

The Importance Of Having a Healthy DJ LeMahieu On the Yankees

If LeMahieu can get healthy, the Yankees will suddenly have one of the best leadoff options in the sport. Before dealing with his toe issues, LeMahieu had been putting together one of the better seasons from any infielder this year.

  • 135 wRC+
  • .279/.381/.417
  • 3.5 fWAR
  • .355 wOBA
  • 12.9% K%

After that point in time, LeMahieu has been putrid with a 0 wRC+ while hitting .150 and posting a .200 OBP. He’s just been terrible while playing through his sprained toe, and there’s nothing to lose by trying to get him healthier as you play more capable infielders such as IKF, Torres, Peraza, and Cabrera in his absence. The Yankees farm is strong in the infield, and that could perhaps be their saving grace as they try to stomach another blow to their lineup.

With top prospects coming up left and right, what do the Yankees do if LeMahieu isn’t ready for October?

Bring Up the Top Dog in the Farm

The Yankees could try to call up Anthony Volpe if LeMahieu is out for October as well, and there is a way to make him playoff eligible. If DJ LeMahieu were to be hurt in October as well, the Yankees can place him on the 60-Day IL and thus use Anthony Volpe as an injury replacement. Volpe has been incredible in AA and AAA with the Somerset Patriots and the Scranton Railriders, as he’s posted an OPS over .800 with 46 SBs and 18 HRs. His defense has been elite at shortstop, and while we don’t know how well playing a bunch of rookies would work, it beats having Miguel Andujar or Ronald Guzman with the Major League Roster.

According to Steamer, Anthony Volpe also projects favorably, who has him at a 114 wRC+ for the Rest of the Season if he were to come up. There’s a lot of risk with this plan, and I’d consider it the backup plan to LeMahieu simply returning from the IL, but if need be, I’d imagine this could be a route they consider. Realistically, Volpe is probably the best shortstop in the organization, even with how well Peraza has played early on. There’s a reason he’s considered an elite prospect, and his combination of power and speed is difficult to match.

It’ll be interesting to see how the DJ LeMahieu injury plays out, but hopefully, for this Yankee team, he gets back soon and at 100% because he’s integral to their success.