Yankees may be facing problem with DJ LeMahieu in playoffs

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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 were hoping to have a healthy DJ LeMahieu during the postseason, but that is far from the reality after he suffered a right big toe injury several weeks ago.

LeMahieu spent some time on the injured list trying to recover and put himself in a spot to make a positive impact during the playoffs, but that remains a big question with about a week until the ALDS.

The Yankees brought back DJ on September 30, giving him five games of reps to try and find his groove. Luckily, he performed quite well in October over 13 at-bats, hitting .308 with a 40% on-base rate, including four hits, two walks, and just one strikeout.

DJ is still dealing with the injury, but the more he plays on it, the more he can aggravate it, which is obviously a problem.

“I feel all right,’’ said LeMahieu.

Regarding his potential impact in the playoffs, DJ still believes he can play a part: “Yeah, I think so.”

The Yankees need DJ LeMahieu’s ability to get on base:

LeMahieu was rather somber answering questions about his potential impact, especially having a polarizing 2022 season. He still finished with a .261 batting average, 35.7% on-base rate, 12 homers, and 46 RBIs.

In fact, he featured a 116 wRC+, indicating he was 16% better than the average MLB player. After signing a big contract in 2021 — six years, $90 million, he is guaranteed with the team until 2027 when he hits free agency.

One of LeMahieu‘s most valuable traits is his ability to get on base just before Aaron Judge is up to bat. Normally, he will serve as the lead-off man with a Judge hitting second. He gets on base at a 32% clip in the first inning and a 40% clip in the third inning. He also features of 48% on-base rate in the fourth inning, showcasing his reliability.

It will be interesting to see how DJ is utilized in the playoffs, especially with the infield performing well lately.

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