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No More Please: Yankees Hope To Swat The Injury Bug Before It Bites Anyone Else

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The New York Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman announced today that DJ LeMahieu will start the 2024 season on the IL. It allows him to spend more downtime recovering from a bone bruise on his right foot.

The third baseman’s been nursing the injury since March 16 after fouling a ball off his foot. The swelling hasn’t gone away. And the team doesn’t want him to try and play through it. Oswaldo Cabrera is expected to fill LeMahieu’s slot for Opening Day.

On Sunday, according to MLB.com reporter Bryan Hoch, Yankees Manager Boone said that with LeMahieu he was taking a ‘wait and see’ approach.

“DJ is still not there,” Boone said. He did some more things today but is still pretty sore and dealing with it. He’s probably a little more of a long shot for Opening Day, but we’ll see. As days go off the calendar, it just depends on how he improves every day.”

First baseman Anthony Rizzo is dealing with lat muscle tightness that occurred last week. He was a late scratch from a Friday game against the Mets. Rizzo, who will not undergo image testing, told reporters that being out of the lineup was purely precautionary. He guaranteed that he’d be in the lineup on Opening Day.

Despite not catching many breaks, the batting order can easily hold the fort with Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and newly acquired Juan Soto. Judge missed 56 games in 2024 while recovering from a torn ligament in his right big toe. Stanton, now in his mid-30s, missed 61 games with a strained hamstring.

The New York Yankees want to open the season with a bang and hope no one else gets banged up. Easier said than done.

New York solidified its roster on Sunday with manager Aaron Boone announcing that Luis Gil will take the fifth starter role after a long and tortuous journey. Gil’s missed the majority of the past two seasons recovering from Tommy John surgery. This Spring, in 15.2 inning in the Grapefruit League, Gil struck out 23 batters and posted an era of 2.87.

Every pitcher (Nestor Cortez, Carlos Rodon, Marcus Stroman, and Clarke Schmidt) moves up in the rotation without their ace Gerrit Cole, who will be out of action for at least two months after his nerve inflation and edema diagnosis that won’t require surgery. If Cole’s recovery goes as planned, he won’t have his “spring training” for another ten weeks.

The next several days feel like a drag as the Bombers crawl to the spring training finish line to start another race. Despite the questions surrounding the Yankees pitching rotation and lineup, PECOTA believes that AL East is theirs to lose. The team is projected to win 93 games in 2024. Every squad in the league hopes to hit the ground running later this week. New York hopes they meet the ground (with no pain) before the first pitch at Minute Maid Park.

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