Yankees face LeMahieu and Torres injury scare, Rodon setback

DJ LeMahieu and Gleyber Torres are shaking hands after a Yankees game at Yankee Stadium, New York.

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The Yankees were missing two regulars who were very important for their game against the Guardians on Wednesday. Both DJ LeMahieu and Gleyber Torres, who play infield for the New York Yankees, have leg injuries — LeMahieu had tightness in his quads and Torres had it in his hip flexors — preventing them from starting the decisive series-decider game in Cleveland.

LeMahieu’s thigh muscles pulled up as he ran the bases during New York’s 11-2 victory on Tuesday night, and Torres was taken out of the game in the ninth inning because after feeling tightness in his leg. Aaron Boone, the manager of the New York Yankees, doesn’t think either injury is too bad, but he’s not taking any chances. He said that LeMahieu’s injury was “day to day” and that both he and Torres could be used off the bench in Wednesday’s game.

Though LeMahieu and Torres were not in the starting lineup because they were hurt, the Yankees went on to win a crazy 4-3 game anyway. Anthony Volpe hit first on Wednesday, as both LeMahieu and Torres, who Boone has used to hit first this season, were both out.

Yankees cautious over LeMahieu’s injury

According to manager Boone, LeMahieu started experiencing stiffness in his quad during the game Tuesday at Progressive Field and was still feeling some pain on Wednesday morning.

“Don’t want to force anything there,” Boone said. “I do think it’s a day-to-day kind of situation, but something obviously we gotta pay attention to.”

Boone said that there were no tests planned for LeMahieu and his quad tightened up as he ran the bases in the middle of the game. The Yankees infielders walked three times, stole two bases, and scored twice to end the game. Before he complained of quad tightness, Boone had planned to play him on Wednesday.

“We’ll see where we’re at [Thursday] with it,” Boone said. “We’ll just kind of take it day by day right now.”

Last year, LeMahieu’s second half of the season was ruined by a toe injury, but Boone doesn’t think that LeMahieu’s tight quads have anything to do with his toe.

“I think toe-wise he’s 100 percent,” Boone said. “I don’t think it’s related. It’s not something we want to mess with.”

LeMahieu was an All-Star three times, and in 2020, he hit .364 and led the AL in hitting.

Yankees hopeful for Torres

Torres said he felt much better than he did on Tuesday night when he started feeling pain while running the bases after a hit in the ninth inning and was taken out of the game. According to Boone, Torres would be back in the Yankees’ lineup on Thursday when they start a home series against the Twins.

“I don’t feel anything right now,” Torres told on Wednesday. “A little bit tired because I did a lot of work [getting treatment] last night, but nothing I’m worried about or pain.”

Torres went 1 for 4 with a walk on Tuesday before being replaced by a pinch runner after a ninth-inning single. Torres entered the game in the ninth inning, pinch-running for Giancarlo Stanton, who reached second base on a throwing error by Cleveland shortstop Amed Rosario. On Oswaldo Cabrera‘s two-out single, he scored the game-winning run.

Torres did not start at second base after leaving Tuesday’s game in the ninth inning with hip flexor stiffness.

“Last night it was a little bit sore but [we] did treatment and everything last night and today I woke up [feeling] really well,” Torres said on Wednesday. “I don’t feel anything.”

So far this season, Torres is off to a great start for the Yankees. Fangraphs says that in 11 games, he has hit.371 with two home runs, a.522 on-base percentage, a 1.179 OPS, and a 1.179 OPS. The Yankees and their manager, Aaron Boone, are glad to see this.

Torres had a good year in 2022, with August being the only bad month. Around the trade deadline, he was mentioned as a possible trade partner for former Miami Marlins starting pitcher Pablo Lopez, who was traded to the Minnesota Twins this offseason. He was also rumored to be traded this offseason. The Yankees have two young middle infielders, Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza, who seemed to be part of the future. Anthony Volpe is already included in the roster. If Torres keeps playing as well as he has so far this season, it doesn’t look like there will be room for Peraza on the team.

The Yankees hope that Torres’s injury scare doesn’t turn out to be a bigger deal than they are letting on. So far, he has been a key bat.

Due to the injury, Cabrera started at second for Torres and delivered the game-winning hit on Wednesday. Isiah Kiner-Falefa started at third for LeMahieu and went 1-for-4 with an error. Anthony Volpe stole LeMahieu’s position at the top of the order on Wednesday after hitting ninth in his first ten games of the season. The youngster went 1-for-4 with a double to left in his first at-bat of the day.

Back pain stalls Carlos Rodon comeback

Carlos Rodon is pitching during a spring training session for the New York Yankees.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Carlos Rodon started the season on the injured list after suffering a left forearm injury. The Yankees hoped he would just be out for a few weeks. The newest update on the 30-year-old southpaw pushes out his probable Yankees debut even more. Rodon’s development has been delayed “a few days” due to back stiffness, according to manager Aaron Boone.

Because of Rodon’s ongoing absence, New York will be forced to use a patchwork of pitchers in their starting rotation who weren’t initially planned for that position. The good news for the Yankees is that Rodon’s recent setback should only postpone his return by a week if things continue as they are.

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