Yankees lose DJ LeMahieu to IL before biggest game of season


The New York Yankees are set to play something close to a make-or-break Game 162 against the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday afternoon in the Bronx.

If they’re going to secure that victory and enter the Wild Card Game without receiving help from anyone else, they’ll have to do it without one of their (theoretically) most consistent performers.

Already well aware that DJ LeMahieu would likely need sports hernia surgery following the end of the season, Yankee fans were dealt another blow on Sunday at around 12:30 EST.

LeMahieu worked out early in the morning before the season finale on agility drills and in the cage, only to deem his own body to be too far from the finish line to participate in the action.

The Yankees’ starting third baseman (these days) will end the first season of his six-year deal in the Bronx on the Injured List, watching from afar as his teammates try to avert disaster.

With some form of a bullpen game staring them in the face, Luis Gil has been recalled to take his place, while Rougned Odor will start at third.

Yankees’ DJ LeMahieu heads to IL; Luis Gil takes roster spot.

Based on all clubhouse reports, LeMahieu tried to fulfill Aaron Boone’s earlier promise and play Sunday, but simply couldn’t get himself in a condition to get onto the field.

As daunting a possibility as it seems to play Odor after so many months of inactivity, would fans really prefer a limited LeMahieu, unable to swing free of pain or cut off ground balls in the hole with a lack of mobility?

Per Boone, Andrew Velazquez, Tyler Wade and Odor will all factor in as LeMahieu’s replacement, pending future matchups.

Of course, there’s no guarantee this season will last beyond Monday — and, in fact, there’s mounting evidence it won’t.

In addition to…(gestures at a million different problems)…the Yankees now need to address their leadoff spot moving forward. Is it really Gleyber Torres, who’s been thriving in the six hole? Or could it be Aaron Judge, their best on-base threat?

Everything had to go wrong to get us here on Friday night. Everything did. Buckle up.