LeMahieu out, ‘Big Fundy’ setback to Yankees’ title chase

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New York – Infielder DJ LeMahieu is the latest to join his teammates on the Yankees’ injury list. Manager Aaron Boone confirmed the injury blow on a Thursday radio show.

Boone expected that the three-time All-Star would move to the injured list before Thursday night’s game. It has been several weeks since LeMahieu sustained an injury to his right big toe. The move though is a blow to the Yankees, it does not come as much of a surprise to fans.

The former Cubs and Rockies player, who joined New York in 2019, missed both games of a doubleheader on Wednesday because of the problem. Boone said at the time that the Yankees might put LeMahieu on the injured list because his situation was “complicated.”

LeMahieu, who is 34 years old, boasts a hitting record of .262/.358/.381 (113 OPS+). He has won Gold Glove Award and Wilson Defensive award each thrice. With the Yankees, he got Silver Slugger Award twice.

The California-born player, fondly called “Big Fundy” for his technique-based play, also has 18 doubles, 12 homers, 46 RBI, 74 runs, and a 3.8 WAR this season. However, his performance has been affected by a toe injury. LeMahieu has gone 2-for-38 (.053) in his last 10 games. He has struck out seven times and has no extra-base hits.

Every fan of the Yankees expects them to do something to avoid a historic collapse. With injury becoming their biggest problem, the team needs to focus on players’ health first. LeMahieu is the latest to join another All-Star Anthony Rizzo, who is out with nagging back pain. Matt Carpenter is recovering from a fractured foot. Andrew Benintendi has a hamate surgery.

Though Luis Severino is doing well in his rehab games, his return is not finalized yet. Aroldis Chapman continues to struggle with a leg infection while Scott Effross has a shoulder strain.

Also, Josh Donaldson is on paternity leave right now. So, the Yankees have to move down the list of corner infielders for the time being. Isiah Kiner-Falefa can play third base for the next few days while Ronald Guzmán takes to the first base. Oswald Peraza plays shortstop.

Marwin Gonzalez is another option for the first base.

From July 8 to September 3, the Yankees went 18-31 and saw their lead in the AL East drop from 15 1/2 games to 4 games. However, they have now won four straight games and have a five-game lead in the division. They will play the Twins on Thursday night, and then, starting Friday, they will play the Rays in a very important three-game series.

Do you think LeMahieu injury is a huge blow for the Yankees? Who will take his place on the team?

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