Yankees lose star infielder DJ LeMahieu to injury

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Jul 16, 2022; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees second baseman DJ LeMahieu (26) during the game against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees have slowly been getting healthier during the month of August, but new injuries continue to mount ahead of the postseason. The team is expected to get back Zack Britton, Luis Severino, and Matt Carpenter just before the playoffs, but that is still at least a month away, with an expected return in mid-September.

However, manager Aaron Boone announced on Sunday that star infielder DJ LeMahieu was dealing with a foot/toe issue and is expected to have imaging done in New York this week. LeMahieu has been dealing with the injury on and off for quite a while, which may have sparked his latest slump in the month of August.

This month, DJ is hitting .234 with a 32% on-base rate, one homer, and 11 hits over 47 at-bats. He’s coming off in elite July, hitting .344 with a 46.2% on-base rate, 33 hits, and four homers over 96 at-bats. On the season, LeMahieu is averaging .279 with a 38% on-base rate, 12 homers, and 43 RBIs.

The Yankees need DJ LeMahieu healthy down the stretch:

By all accounts, the 34-year-old utility man is having another stellar campaign, hosting a 135 wRC+ with fantastic defensive grades across the board. He’s made appearances at first base, second base, and third base this season. He hosts a .995 fielding percentage at first, perfect fielding percentage at second, and .992 FP at third base.

Losing DJ is a significant blow to the Yankees if he’s forced to miss any time with a legitimate foot injury. Considering he’s been able to play through it, they may play it safe and put him on the ten-day injured list to give him a few weeks of rest. In his stead, they could call on one of their young AAA prospects like Oswald Peraza or Oswaldo Cabrera.

Peraza and Cabrera have been raking:

Peraza has been unbelievable the past few months, hitting .300 with a 37% on-base rate, five homers, and 15 RBIs in the month of July. Alternatively, Cabrera is hitting .400 with a 45.7% on-base rate, one homer, and nine RBIs in 11 games with Scranton Wilkes-Barre this month.

Alternatively, Boone could call up Tyler Wade to fill out in at second base, a familiar face that spent the first half of the season with the Los Angeles Angels.

Unfortunately, Wade was unable to get anything going as an offensive threat but did hit .268 with a 35% on-base rate over 103 games last year for the Yankees, including 17 stolen bases.

Playing it cautious with DJ LeMahieu is probably a good idea for the Yankees, who will desperately need his services come the postseason.

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