Yankees injury latest: X-Ray offers hope for LeMahieu’s timely return

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The New York Yankees’ spring training has taken a turn for the worse, with yet another key player facing an injury setback. This development comes on the heels of concerning news about Gerrit Cole’s elbow and Aaron Judge’s recent MRI. On Saturday, during a close 10-9 win against the Toronto Blue Jays, DJ LeMahieu, the team’s starting third baseman, required X-rays after fouling a pitch off his foot.

Speaking before Sunday’s game against the Boston Red Sox, Yankees manager Aaron Boone described the force of the impact. Although X-rays revealed no fractures, LeMahieu continued to experience discomfort. As a result, he remained behind for treatment at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa on Sunday.

Boone expressed clear concern about LeMahieu’s status. He acknowledged the visible effects of the foul ball and LeMahieu’s ongoing soreness. While Boone expressed hope for a speedy recovery, he also emphasized the seriousness of the incident and the need for cautionary monitoring. LeMahieu’s availability remains uncertain, and he is currently classified as day-to-day.

Yankees breathe sigh of relief over LeMahieu’s negative X-ray

Dj LeMahieu of the New York Yankees is slamming his helmet after a disappointed game against the Mariners on June 23, 2023.
Charles Wenzelberg/NYP

LeMahieu, the Yankees’ infielder, underwent X-rays on his foot following an incident during Saturday’s game where he fouled a ball off the side of his foot, as manager Aaron Boone revealed to reporters on Sunday. Video footage from the Yankees’ game against the Toronto Blue Jays shows LeMahieu taking a moment to recover after the impact.

The news of LeMahieu’s injury comes amidst recent health concerns for other key players on the team. Aaron Judge underwent an MRI for his abdomen, with results indicating no significant issues. Similarly, Gerrit Cole underwent tests on his right elbow, revealing nerve inflammation and edema, which will require a three-to-four-week break from throwing and sideline him for the start of the season.

LeMahieu’s injury history includes a fractured right foot that kept him out of the 2022 postseason. However, the Yankees are counting on his return to form, hoping he can reclaim his role as the leadoff hitter, batting ahead of Juan Soto and Judge. Despite posting a career-worst .243 average last season, LeMahieu showed improvement in the second half, hitting .273 after a slow start.

Boone highlighted LeMahieu’s offseason dedication, noting his participation in a rigorous running program and improved explosiveness in the batting cage. The 35-year-old veteran, known for his versatility, is expected to anchor the Yankees’ infield at third base, taking over for the retired Josh Donaldson in the upcoming season.

Prior to the injury, the Yankees were encouraged by LeMahieu’s performance. He hit .222 (6 for 27) across 10 games, and the team anticipated him carrying over the strong finish he had to the previous season.

Assuming a quick recovery from his sore foot, LeMahieu remains slated to be the starting third baseman on Opening Day. His versatility will also be valuable as he rotates around the infield, potentially serving as backup to Anthony Rizzo at first base.

Yankees face crunch time filling out bench spots

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As spring training nears its end, the Yankees are grappling with a familiar challenge: determining their Opening Day bench. While outfielder Trent Grisham and a catcher have secured their spots, two more positions remain open, ideally filled by players who offer defensive versatility.

One strong candidate is utilityman Oswaldo Cabrera, who boasts impressive defensive flexibility across the field. However, the Yankees are considering sending him to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to allow for further offensive development through consistent playing time.

When considering other options, the Yankees face some limitations. Jahmai Jones, a right-handed hitter with power who is on the 40-man roster, provides coverage at second base, third base, and the corner outfield positions. The injury to Oswald Peraza has opened a door for non-roster invitee Kevin Smith, but his offensive production hasn’t been convincing, despite his solid defense. Outfielder Oscar Gonzalez, while hitting well this spring, is considered somewhat redundant given the existing outfield depth.

Franchy Cordero in pinstripes during a game at Yankee Stadium.

General Manager Brian Cashman may look to the open market as other teams finalize their rosters. Last year, this strategy proved successful with the late addition of outfielder Franchy Cordero. Trade possibilities also remain on the table.

Cashman acknowledged having “dependable options” internally but echoed the Yankees’ typical spring training approach of remaining open to external possibilities. By monitoring other teams’ decisions and engaging in trade talks, they may find a player deemed surplus elsewhere who fits their needs perfectly. However, Cashman emphasized a wait-and-see approach, allowing the situation to develop further before making any final decision.

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