The New York Yankees have been working extremely hard to find a supplement for DJ LeMahieu, who tested positive COVID-19 several weeks ago.
LeMahieu is an essential piece to the Yankees lineup and defensive efficiency. In 2019, he ranked fourth in MVP voting and was an All-Star. He hit .327 with 26 homers and 102 RBIs â€” both categories are career highs.
On Wednesday evening, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic stated that LeMahieu is expected to return this week. This gives the star second baseman time to log live at-bats and hopefully prepare for the regular season.
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DJ LeMahieu expected to rejoin the Yankees this week, source tells The Athletic.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 16, 2020
With Opening Day just seven days away, the Yankees are still ironing out their active roster, which has expanded from 26 to 30 players. Deciding between speedster Tyler Wade and a more rounded player in Thairo Estrada has become a big question.
Estrada had two home runs during intrasquad play, and Wade has looked fantastic running the bases. However, Estrada is a far superior defender, and his offense has looked equally as good, making him the preferred option so far, in my opinion.
Nonetheless, if LeMahieu can start the season in form, the Yankees will not have to worry about supplementing the second base position. His bat will be a very nice addition to the top of the order, as well.
Early reports stated that he was asymptomatic, which meant he just had to test negative for the virus a specific number of times before he was allowed to re-join the team. I imagine he will remain careful and stay away from teammates for the time being until he can fully become acclimated with the new protocols.
The Yankees open on July 23 against the Washington Nationals, which they will need all of their star power if they wish to walk away with a victory. Starting pitcher and ace Gerrit Cole is expected to make his Yankee debut, and having his full support staff on offense would make his job a little bit easier. Not to mention the defensive efficiency DJ and right fielder Aaron Judge bring to the table.