DJ LeMahieu is not ready to play and he doesn’t want to be “useless,” so he’s trying to stay ready without getting “stupid.” The Yankees versatile infielder has been dealing with a right foot issue between his big and second toe since before the All-Star break. Friday, before the Yankees game against the Red Sox at the Stadium, LeMahieu hit with a batting practice group, but he admitted he doesn’t think he can play with how it feels now.
“It’s two weeks and it’s a little bit better. We have a week and a half left in the season or two weeks or something like that. So I don’t want to just shut it down and then have to ramp up again. So I’m staying as ready as I can without being stupid,” LeMahieu said. “And I don’t think at this point, it’s really going to go away. So I think it’s just stay ready, and just go to them [let them] know how I feel and I’ll be ready to go. Whenever that day is.”
LeMahieu began dealing with the pain in his foot before the All-Star break and tried to treat it during the hiatus with a cortisone shot. It did not help and it has gotten worse. It bothers LeMahieu when he’s moving on the field, running the bases and hitting.
“But you know, most importantly, if I can’t get my swing off then I am kind of useless,” LeMahieu said.
Last season, the Yankees got a glimpse of how inconsistent they were without LeMahieu, a contact hitter who compliments the power hitters in their lineup. LeMahieu was shut down in September with a sports hernia, which was healed through surgery.
LeMahieu said he does not think that this will require surgery. He thinks extended rest in the offseason will heal it.
“But, I am just trying to get through the season, so I haven’t really thought about that yet,” LeMahieu said.
“It’s been a really tricky injury to get our arms around and what treatments we can do,” manager Aaron Boone said. “If and when you can do a shot and things like that. We’ll see.”
Anthony Rizzo returned to the lineup after missing 14 games with a back issue on Sunday and on Friday Boone gave him a day of rest.
“He’s doing really well actually, the backs not an issue,” Boone said. “This is more of he was down for two weeks of not doing anything and now that ramp up so looking at the schedule and we’re in the midst of that eight in a row it’s like when do I get them one so we talked a lot about it last night he and I and then even this morning it just felt like today’s the best day to do it and you know hopefully it serves him well.”
Since coming back from having an epidural to address back pain, Rizzo has hit .211/.286/.421 with a home run.
BACKING OFF BADER
Harrison Bader, who made his Yankee debut Tuesday night, also had the night off on Friday. Bader was acquired by the Yankees on Aug. 2 from the Cardinals, where he had been on the injured list for over a month with plantar fasciitis. It took seven weeks for him to make his Yankees debut, but it’s been impressive.
Bader is 4-for-11 with a double and six RBI in three games.
“Just good situational things that he’s done. He’s run the bases incredibly well. He’s gotten some big hits in these first couple of games with runners in scoring position,” Boone said. “You get a peek at just how athletic and fundamentally sound he is in the outfield the way he’s getting behind balls to keep guys from advancing. He’s just been a spark and he’s done a lot of winning things in just three games.”