Yankees injury update: Cole, LeMahieu jet off to New York, Kahnle superb in rehab, Vivas off the mark

Yankees' relief pitcher is pitching for Somerset during a rehab game on May 14, 2024.

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After a setback in his initial rehab stint, the Yankees and DJ LeMahieu are cautiously optimistic that his fractured right foot has fully mended, allowing him to return to game action. LeMahieu’s first attempt at a comeback on April 23 with the Double-A Somerset Patriots was cut short after just one at-bat and one inning at third base due to lingering discomfort.

Following a period of rest and further rehabilitation, the Yankees infielder faced minor-league pitching in a live batting practice session at the team’s player development complex in Tampa. With this latest progress, LeMahieu has been given the green light to test his foot in game situations once again, starting Tuesday.

After completing his workout in Tampa, LeMahieu made his way to New York to wrap up his rehabilitation games in preparation for his return.

The plan is for the two-time batting champion to train at Yankee Stadium for a day or two, beginning on Wednesday. He is then expected to join the Patriots for their home games against Portland on either Thursday or Friday night, where he will start at third base and likely play five to six innings.

This marks the beginning of a series of minor-league appearances that LeMahieu is slated to participate in before the Yankees give serious consideration to activating him from the injured list.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone, speaking prior to Tuesday evening’s game against the Twins at Target Field, noted that DJ LeMahieu has been sidelined for roughly seven to eight weeks. Boone emphasized the importance of LeMahieu getting back into game action and accumulating at-bats to find his groove once again.

The injury occurred on March 16 when LeMahieu fouled a pitch off his foot during a spring training contest. An initial MRI the following day indicated a bone bruise, but a subsequent scan, performed after some of the swelling had subsided, revealed a non-displaced fracture.

Here are the latest updates regarding the other Yankees currently on the injured list:

Gerrit Cole ready to rejoin the Yankees

Yankees ace Gerrit Cole, currently on the mend, completed a 36-pitch bullpen session in Tampa on Tuesday before returning to New York. The plan is for Cole to continue his workouts at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday and Thursday, followed by joining the Yankees for their home series against the White Sox this weekend.

Manager Aaron Boone described Cole’s progress as “onward and upward.” The right-hander hasn’t pitched in a game since experiencing difficulties recovering from his sole spring training start on March 1, a two-inning, 39-pitch outing against the Blue Jays, and a subsequent 47-pitch live batting practice session on March 7.

Despite multiple MRIs confirming the integrity of Cole’s ulnar collateral ligament, he was diagnosed with elbow nerve inflammation, which resulted in a five-week hiatus from throwing.

Jasson Dominguez

Yankees top prospect Jasson Dominguez began his rehab assignment with Low A Clearwater on Tuesday night, going 1-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout in his first game action since undergoing Tommy John surgery. For the initial two weeks, Dominguez will be limited to designated hitter duties before gradually transitioning to playing center field.

Once the 20-day rehab period concludes, the Yankees must activate Dominguez from the injured list and either add him to their 26-man roster or option him to Triple-A. Barring any injuries to the Yankees’ current outfielders or designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton, it is likely that Dominguez will be optioned to Scranton upon his return.

Jorvit Vivas

Jorvit Vivas, a promising second base prospect, started his rehab assignment with the Tampa Tarpons on Tuesday evening. Vivas went 0-for-1 but drew two walks when batting second and playing second base.

The 23-year-old sustained a fractured orbital bone when a pitch hit him during a Yankees spring training game on March 18. He briefly returned to action, appearing in two Triple-A games from April 23-24, before being sidelined once more.

Vivas, a left-handed batter, was acquired by the Yankees in a trade with the Dodgers on December 11, along with reliever Victor Gonzalez, in exchange for shortstop prospect Trey Sweeney.

Tommy Kahnle

Tommy Kahnle, the seasoned relief pitcher, made his third rehab appearance and Double-A debut on Tuesday night, tossing a perfect sixth inning for Somerset. He struck out the side on just 10 pitches in the team’s 11-10 defeat against Portland.

Prior to this outing, the right-hander had already pitched two flawless innings for Tampa last Wednesday and Saturday. Kahnle has been sidelined for the entire season thus far, recovering and rehabbing from shoulder discomfort that initially surfaced in September of the previous year.

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