Yankees place infielder on IL with calf injury, promote MiLB depth

MLB: Chicago White Sox at New York Yankees
John Jones-USA TODAY SportsCredit: John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

With the Yankees seeing Jon Berti go down in the top of the ninth inning last night, they knew things weren’t pretty as he couldn’t even walk off the field on his own. Today, they officially placed Berti on the 15-day IL with a right calf strain, as he’ll first nurse what looked like a pretty ugly injury on Friday night. In his place, Kevin Smith has been added to the active roster, and while he wasn’t on the 40-man roster, the Yankees moved DJ LeMahieu over to the 60-day IL to open up room for him on the team.

This isn’t because DJ LeMahieu had a setback, but rather a smart maneuver as it’s retroactive to his initial placement on the IL, meaning he is eligible to be activated on Tuesday as expected.

Jon Berti Placed on IL, Yankees Call Up Kevin Smith

MLB: Seattle Mariners at New York Yankees, jon berti
Brad Penner-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Things had been getting better for Jon Berti upon his activation from the IL, as he hit .306 with a 119 wRC+ after his return in May from an abductor issue that sidelined him for about three weeks. Unfortunately, he’ll go right back onto the injured list to try and rehab from this calf issue. It’s unclear how long he’ll be inactive, but we know that his replacement for the time being will be Kevin Smith, who replaced Berti earlier when he went down with the abductor injury in April.

Kevin Smith has struggled in Triple-A, hitting .204 with a .286 SLG% and 44 wRC+, but he isn’t viewed as a long-term solution to the team’s infield issues. With DJ LeMahieu expected to make his return soon, the Yankees are likely going to just designate Smith for assignment as the corresponding move. LeMahieu is currently with the Scranton RailRiders in Triple-A, and the expectation is for him to be activated on Tuesday against the Angels in Los Angeles.

In four rehab games in his latest rehab assignment, LeMahieu is hitting .400 with a 1.038 OPS and 205 wRC+ between High-A and Double-A. These results don’t matter much, but the hope is that he can fill in and become their everyday third baseman as Oswaldo Cabrera shifts towards more of a utility role with the team.

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