DJ LeMahieu was a huge missing piece during last year’s playoffs. It sounds like he’ll be near full strength to start the season.
New York Yankees fans will point to injury luck as one of the main reasons the team has been held back from success in the last several years. In reality, the team has probably faced an equal share of injury obstacles that should be expected throughout the grind of a 162-game season.
Last year, though, D.J. LeMahieu’s absence down the stretch was a significant shortfall the Yankees couldn’t quite backfill. He wasn’t on the postseason roster and effectively turned his focus toward the offseason while the team was still competing.
LeMahieu avoided foot surgery, which appears to be a win, and is reportedly doing extremely well. Hitting coach Dillon Lawson (subscription required) told the New York Post that ‘The Machine’ is back to being a machine. He went so far as to say it looks like there was never a problem with LeMahieu as far as offense goes, which is great considering foot injuries can greatly hinder a player’s approach at the plate.
DJ LeMahieu being back would be huge win for Yankees
LeMahieu’s presence solves a lot of little issues. Not only is his consistency at the plate a huge add to the offense, but his versatility across multiple infield roles helps New York since he can fill in for injured or slumping players.
In particular, the left side of the infield feels like a massive question mark. While you probably can’t put him out there at shortstop, he’s absolutely an option at third base, where he’s played the second-most amount of games.
There are very few two-way players in the game that offer the same level of consistency and flexibility that LeMahieu does. Having him back is a huge blessing, and hearing positive reports of his progress is even better. Since he’s been training at the Yankees facilities in Tampa, look for him to hit the ground running in spring training, which is on its way.