Just what the New York Yankees needed! Already hobbled by injuries and overall terrible play following another series loss at Fenway Park this weekend, manager Aaron Boone told reporters after Sunday’s game that DJ LeMahieu is dealing with a foot/toe issue.
The Yankees’ second-best hitter is expected to “have imaging done” in New York on Monday, which could determine whether he’s available for the series opener against the Tampa Bay Rays.
On top of this potential back-breaking injury coming out of nowhere, Yankees fans received new, surprising information on the matter. Boone told revealed LeMahieu has been dealing with the injury “on and off for a bit” and LeMahieu said he received a cortisone shot around the All-Star break to address the pain.
Is there any silver lining to the Yankees possibly losing one of their most important offensive players at the moment? Sort of!
Perhaps this forces general manager Brian Cashman into making better decisions, like calling up top prospects to provide some relief in the meantime. Oswald Peraza, anyone? He can fill reps at second base and shortstop for the time being.
DJ LeMahieu dealing with an injury is going to really hurt the Yankees
The Yankees need an injection of life right now as they continue to spiral. They’ve now lost four straight series and are 8-15 since the All-Star break. Losing a bat like LeMahieu’s, which was hitting .292 with an .824 OPS at the beginning of the month, would be devastating for an offense that already can’t score with that bat in the lineup.
However, LeMahieu is just 6 for his last 38 with one RBI, which we can likely chalk up to his toe/foot issue. He’s now hitting .279 with a .798 OPS as a result of the slide. In those games he’s played, New York has averaged just 3.55 runs per game (with their two nine-run games against the Cardinals and Mariners proving to be the outliers).
So what about Peraza, who Boone said there were no immediate plans to promote? Or Oswaldo Cabrera? Somebody?
Peraza is hitting .257 with a .768 OPS, 50 runs scored, 16 homers, 43 RBI and 28 stolen bases across 87 Triple-A games. He may not be “ready” according to the Yankees, but that’ll play at the MLB level. On the other hand, Cabrera, who missed time due to injury, is hitting .264 with an .843 OPS, 29 runs scored, 8 homers, 29 RBI and 10 stolen bases in 46 Triple-A games.
Speed? Defensive versatility? Potential to do it all on offense? Quite frankly, one of these two decisions should’ve arguably been made earlier, but the Yankees insistence on not calling up any prospects until they’re ready by their standards has prevented this roster from getting any younger over the last five or so years.
Sadly, another injury to one of the team’s most important players might be the only way to convince Cashman to make a roster move of this magnitude. But you know they’re trying to force DJ into these games to keep a handle on Peraza’s service time, which is very, very cool.