Home News Still waiting on DJ LeMahieu, Brian Cashman addresses Yankees’ ‘vulnerable’ infield

Still waiting on DJ LeMahieu, Brian Cashman addresses Yankees’ ‘vulnerable’ infield

DJ LeMahieu had yet to go through tests by the time Brian Cashman and Aaron Boone spoke to reporters on Wednesday afternoon, but it’s clear that the infielder will once again be out longer than expected after exiting his first rehab game after just one inning on Tuesday night.

“I know he’s sore today,” Cashman said. “All I can tell you is he took BP yesterday, and then when he ran on the field for defense, he felt sore all of a sudden. I don’t think anything specific created it. It just all of a sudden developed, and so he did the smart thing and pulled the plug.”

Cashman spoke at a mural unveiling hosted by the Bronx Children’s Museum and The Players Alliance. With help from the Yankees, Bronx-born artist André Trenier unveiled murals featuring six living Black baseball legends that are meant to inspire kids in the Bronx.

Later in the day, at Yankee Stadium, Boone said that he might have an update on LeMahieu following the Bombers’ game against the A’s. The manager added that LeMahieu, pained by a nondisplaced fracture in his right foot, had to get an MRI and a CT scan. He was supposed to see Dr. Christopher Ahmad.

Boone said that LeMahieu’s early departure from Tuesday’s game with Double-A Somerset came as a bit of a surprise, as the infielder has “felt really good” while ramping up over the last two weeks.

“Glad he said something,” Boone said. “DJ is usually so tough at just playing through things. He’s been very much on board with us about not messing with this at all. So I’m glad he listened to it.”

LeMahieu suffered his fracture when he fouled a ball off his foot in mid-March. He initially hoped to play in less than five rehab games, and his assignment was originally supposed to start last Friday.

However, a Thursday MRI left Dr. Aaron Mates, an orthopedic foot and ankle surgeon, uncomfortable. So LeMahieu didn’t start his assignment until Tuesday.

The delay frustrated the veteran, but Tuesday also proved to be too soon.

Asked what purpose the few extra days of rest were supposed to serve considering LeMahieu is dealing with a fracture, Cashman wasn’t exactly sure.

“When the doctor tells you whatever, you just follow that rule,” the general manager said. “So the only thing I was worried about at that point was how much DJ was gonna fight it, because I know he was pretty committed to feeling like he was ready to go.”

With LeMahieu’s timeline uncertain once again, the Yankees have some issues with their infield depth. In addition to being the team’s starting third baseman, LeMahieu was also supposed to backup at first and second.

Oswaldo Cabrera has taken over the hot corner and thrived at the plate in LeMahieu’s absence. He is also the Yankees’ backup shortstop with Jon Berti (groin) and Oswald Peraza (shoulder strain) sidelined. Cabrera, who has experience playing almost every position, is also the backup first baseman, but he’s far from a natural there.

If Cabrera were ever needed at short or first, Jahmai Jones would have to play third. But “he’s really a second baseman,” Cashman said.

“We’re a little vulnerable right now,” Cashman said. “The legitimate choices for Boone currently aren’t as comforting, I guess. But that’s also the nature of the beast sometimes.”

While Peraza is still a few weeks from playing in games, Boone said that Berti could begin a rehab assignment as soon as this weekend. The expectation is that it wouldn’t be a long one.

Berti’s return would give the Yankees strong coverage at third and short, but first-base depth would still be lacking.

Boone noted that catcher Austin Wells and center fielder Trent Grisham have been doing some work at first. While it’s not unusual for a catcher to try the position, The Daily News took note of Grisham’s work at first.

A few coaches said not to read into it too much, while Grisham said that he might be able to play the position someday. He did not make it sound like that would happen soon, but the Yankees don’t have a ton of emergency options at the moment.

“It’s not the perfect situation for us right now,” Boone acknowledged. “We’ll make do if and when that situation presents itself. Or, if we have to go do something and make a move and pull somebody up, so be it.”

There are some minor leaguers who could fill the Yankees’ various infield needs, but no one who is on the 40-man roster. Cashman said he’d “prefer not to touch the 40,” as a few Yankees will eventually come off the 60-day injured list.

“I’d rather not jam it up,” Cashman said. “So hopefully we can just tread water and get through it like we’ve been doing. That’s the current gameplan.”


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