Home News With Jon Berti’s health in doubt, Yankees won’t activate DJ LeMahieu early

With Jon Berti’s health in doubt, Yankees won’t activate DJ LeMahieu early

SAN DIEGO — Innings after the Yankees had put the hurt on Padres pitcher Yu Darvish, Jon Berti left Friday’s 8-0 win in actual pain.

After hitting a grounder to the right side in the finale frame, Berti took two steps out of the batter’s box before tumbling to the ground. The infielder remained there for several minutes before trainers helped him off the field.

Berti could not put any weight on his left side as he hobbled to the Yankees’ clubhouse at Petco Park.

“It looks like a calf injury,” Aaron Boone said. “Just grabbed on him out of the box. So we’ll see what we have. I’m sure we’ll get imaging and all that. But obviously the way he walked off looked like he got it pretty good.”

Acquired from the Marlins hours before Opening Day, Berti has already spent time on the injured list this season. A left groin strain put him on the shelf from April 13 to May 4.

A speedster with some contact skills, Berti has hit .273 with one homer, six RBI and four stolen bases over 17 games. The Yankees were hoping he would be a serious boost to their bench, as he’s capable of playing all over the diamond despite only manning third base with the team thus far.

Berti is arbitration eligible this offseason, so the Yankees traded for him with the idea of using him next season as well.

“He’s a really good complement to our team,” Boone said. “The speed he brings, the defense he brings. We haven’t seen the defensive versatility that he has just because third base has been the spot. He gives you that quality at-bat at the bottom of the order. He’s a good player, and hopefully this is something that doesn’t knock him down too long because he does become a very important part of our bench moving forward, too.”

Berti has only played third, a position he’s shared with Oswaldo Cabrera, because DJ LeMahieu has been recovering from a nondisplaced fracture in his right foot.

For the past week, the Yankees have said that the plan is for LeMahieu to make his 2024 debut on Tuesday when the team is in Anaheim.

That plan isn’t changing, no matter what Berti’s imaging says.

“No,” Boone said when asked if LeMahieu would be activated early. “Assuming it’s an IL [for Berti], we’ll bring somebody else for a couple of days. We want DJ to at least get his next two [rehab games] on Saturday and Sunday in Scranton.”

With LeMahieu not an option just yet, the Yankees have limited minor league infield choices on their 40-man roster. Oswald Peraza, fresh off his own rehab assignment from a shoulder strain, is the only one with major league experience.


On Friday, the Yankees placed Nick Burdi on the 15-day IL with right hip inflammation for the second time this season.

Boone said the injury “flared up” again. The Yankees will let the inflammation “calm down” for a few days before assessing next steps.

“I don’t know how long it’s going to be,” Boone said.

Burdi has been sharp when healthy, recording a 1.86 ERA over 9.2 innings. However, the right-hander has a long injury history.

The Yankees promoted Yoendrys Gómez in Burdi’s place. The young righty struck out the side in the ninth inning on Friday, but he’s likely just a stopgap with Ian Hamilton expected to return from the COVID-19 IL on Sunday.


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