HomeMLB RumorsDJ LeMahieu To Begin Rehab Assignment

DJ LeMahieu To Begin Rehab Assignment

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The Yankees announced that infielder DJ LeMahieu has been sent to Double-A Somerset to start a rehab assignment. LeMahieu is leading off tonight’s game and playing third base, per the X account of the Patriots.

LeMahieu, 35, was supposed to be the club’s everyday third baseman here in 2024 but a Spring Training injury scuttled those plans. The veteran fouled a ball of his foot and was initially diagnosed with a bone bruise. After the swelling didn’t go down, he went for a second MRI, which revealed a non-displaced fracture. He was set to begin a rehab assignment this past weekend but his foot still wasn’t healing enough and the rehab assignment was pushed back by a few days.

Manager Aaron Boone told reporters, including Bryan Hoch of MLB.com, that the plan is for LeMahieu to play four games and possibly rejoin the Yanks in time for their series against the Orioles next week.

The club is surely excited to welcome LeMahieu back but they will have a bit of a tricky decision to make in terms of distributing playing time. The veteran has hit .258/.345/.375 since the start of 2021 while battling various injuries. That’s still amounts to a 106 wRC+, indicating he was six percent better than league average in that time. But the Yankees were surely hoping for more, especially since he hit .336/.386/.536 for a 146 wRC+ over 2019 and 2020, before they re-signed him to a six-year, $90MM contract.

To start this year, Oswaldo Cabrera has taken over at the hot corner and is out to a great start. He’s hitting .290/.324/.478 so far on the young season, production that leads to a wRC+ of 133. That’s a small sample of 74 plate appearances, which means it likely doesn’t carry as much weight as LeMahieu’s career numbers, but the Yanks probably want to keep riding the hot hand.

Each of Cabrera and LeMahieu are capable of playing different positions, so the club will have some flexibility. First baseman Anthony Rizzo and second baseman Gleyber Torres are both out to slow starts, so perhaps they could get some breathers when LeMahieu and Cabrera are both healthy and looking for playing time.

Elsewhere in Yankee news, Gerrit Cole threw 50 pitches from a distance of 120 feet today, per Chris Kirschner of The Athletic. It hasn’t yet been decided when he’ll move to mound work, but Boone said it could be as soon as next week, per Greg Joyce of The New York Post.

Needless to say, any progress from Cole is a good development for the Yankees. The reigning American League Cy Young made just one official appearance during Spring Training before some elbow issues popped up. Since he wasn’t recovering as expected between throwing sessions, the club shut him down and sent him for testing. He was eventually recommended for non-surgical rehab and has been on that path for the past month or so.

Cole is on the 60-day injured list and won’t be eligible to return until late May at the earliest. Even if he begins throwing off a mound soon, he’ll likely need to redo Spring Training from scratch, meaning he’ll be out beyond that timeframe anyhow. His eventual return date will naturally be determined by how his arm holds up as he continues building up in the weeks to come.


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