Yankees place starting infielder on injured list ahead of opening day

MLB: New York Yankees at Kansas City Royals
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees are heading into the regular season with a few injuries already impacting the team’s starting rotation and infield. Gerrit Cole will miss the first few months of the regular season and starting third baseman DJ LeMahieu was placed on the injured list on Monday, ruling out his availability for opening day.

LeMahieu fouled a ball off his right foot a week ago, so the Yankees have been acting with caution regarding his rehabilitation and preparation for the season. While he’s been getting some light jogging in and individual work, DJ is still feeling the impact of a significant bruise. Don’t expect to see him over the next few weeks, but he should be ready to go for the duration of the season once he returns.

The 35-year-old suffered a toe injury to his left foot about two seasons ago, which derailed his contributions and made him more of a liability than an asset.

Last season, LeMahieu played 136 games, hitting .243/.327/.390, including 15 homers and 44 RBIs with a 101 wRC+. These were well below his usual metrics, but with DJ now unavailable, they could push Anthony Volpe up to the lead-off spot, especially after an impressive spring training.

The Yankees Could Hand the Lead Off Role to Anthony Volpe

Volpe has played 18 games, hitting .314/.364/.471, showcasing better plate discipline and contact, so the Yankees may be willing to give him an opportunity to bat ahead of Aaron Judge and Juan Soto, two of the best hitters in baseball.

In the meantime, expect utility man Oswaldo Cabrera to start at third base while LeMahieu rehabilitates, but the Yankees may be looking for veteran support since Cabrera is a below average bat in the lineup.

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