The New York Yankees: willing to punt the entire month of August with odd trades, questionable roster moves, and a hesitance to promote their top prospects. Also the New York Yankees: willing to walk a tightrope when it comes to the health of their three most important players.
The latest to fall victim to the team’s mismanagement/lack of assertion when handling injuries is DJ LeMahieu.
First, it was Giancarlo Stanton, who was far from himself in the month of July. Something was up. Then he played in the All-Star Game and won the MVP. Then he “rested” out of the break, got scattered playing time for three straight days, then was ruled out for a month. Turns out, he returned prematurely, too, because he’s still not playing consistently.
Then it was Anthony Rizzo, who, on three separate occasions, dealt with back issues this year and missed multiple games in a row. Never did he serve an IL stint until this week, when it reached a point where he required an epidural, and then got severe headaches as a side effect from the shot.
Now it’s LeMahieu, who’s been dealing with a foot/toe issue since July — a bit of information fans didn’t know about until August, when it was revealed he received a cortisone shot in the affected area during the All-Star break. Instead of putting him on the IL, the Yankees have watched him wither from a top-10 hitter in the game to a guy batting .262 with a .740 OPS. Not bad, but nothing at all game-changing. And now we have to listen to manager Aaron Boone deliver the news of what seems to be malpractice on the organization’s part.
Aaron Boone revealing DJ LeMahieu is hitting the IL will drive Yankees fans nuts
The foot injury has “clearly compromised” him but the Yankees just … kept letting him play on it? Until it reached this point in September that he needed an IL stint? On top of him being unable to perform and actively hurting the team thanks to this limitation, LeMahieu likely worsened the condition. In what realm of the universe does this kind of approach make sense?
And now there’s concern he’ll miss the rest of the season! But wait … there’s also hope he doesn’t. Are there any gibberish translators out there willing to help? Because we don’t understand any of this reasoning or the overall message.
The Yankees are down their leadoff hitter, their No. 3 hitter, and their cleanup hitter, all because they refused to place any of them on the IL when their ailments began to affect their play. The worst part is that there was always a window to do this because of the team’s incredible 61-23 start. They were 70-34 on Aug. 1! There was no need to trot out star players who were limited with injuries. The Yankees had the luxury of a deep roster and talented farm system to fill the gaps.
Instead, there’s a reality where this team heads into the postseason without one or more of these guys, or with one or more of them still not at 100%. Recipe for disaster, and the writing is on the wall.