Analysis

The Yankees Can’t Afford to Lose DJ LeMahieu

With DJ LeMahieu going down with a left thumb sprain, the Yankees face a tough task in trying to survive without the all-star second baseman.

Another day, another Yankee goes down with an injury. After six months of injury-plagued baseball for the Yankees in 2019, the Bombers are already down three key men as we approach the one-third marker in this shortened 60-game season.

The first man to go down was Giancarlo Stanton, and although it’s sad to say, an injury falling upon the 2017 NL MVP was more than expected. The Yankees placed Stanton on the 10-day IL on August 9 with a hamstring strain. The next man to take a fall was perennial all-star Aaron Judge with a mild calf strain, according to Yankees’ Skipper Aaron Boone, as he was placed on the 10-day IL prior to Friday’s game against the Red Sox. This, to be brutally honest, wasn’t any shock, either, as Judge missed two months last year with an oblique injury and missed all of spring training (and would have missed the start of the season) with a rib fracture. On Saturday, however, one Yankee got hit with an injury that the team can’t do without: second baseman DJ LeMahieu.

LeMahieu’s Injury

In the bottom of the fourth inning on Saturday night’s game against the Boston Red Sox, DJ LeMahieu took an awkward swing. After being checked out by Boone and the trainers, LeMahieu continued the plate appearance and grounded out on the next pitch. LeMahieu stayed in the game for the top of the fifth but was replaced in the top of the sixth by Tyler Wade.

The Yankees eventually announced LeMahieu left the game with a left thumb sprain. Fast forward to Sunday afternoon where the Yankees placed LeMahieu on the 10-day IL.

What the Yankees are Missing

LeMahieu, a fan favorite among many, was tearing it up before being placed on the injured list. He was hitting .411 with two home runs and a 177 wRC+. The all-star second baseman also finished fourth in AL MVP voting a year ago, hitting .327 with a .375 on-base percentage and a 136 wRC+, along with a .375 wOBA. He also produced significant power numbers, as well, hitting 26 home runs and 102 RBI.

Lastly, LeMahieu is widely regarded around the league as a clutch hitter, as those RBI numbers stemmed from his ability to hit with runners in scoring position, hitting .389 with six homers in said opportunities.

The Yankees have been able to withstand injuries for over the past year, but with LeMahieu going down, this will be a big test for the Bombers.

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