DJ LeMahieu isn’t ready to play and he doesn’t want to be “useless”, so he tries to stay ready without becoming “stupid”. The versatile Yankees infielder has been struggling with a right foot problem between his big and second toe since before the All-Star break. Before the Yankees’ game against the Red Sox at Stadium on Friday, LeMahieu hit with a practice batting group, but he admitted he didn’t think he could play with what it felt like now.
“It’s been two weeks and it’s a little 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 stop it and then have to speed up again. So I stay 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 good to go. Whenever that day is.
LeMahieu began dealing with foot pain before the All-Star break and tried to treat it during the break with a cortisone shot. It didn’t help and it got worse. This bothers LeMahieu as he moves around the field, runs down bases and kicks.
“But you know, most importantly, if I can’t get my momentum going, I’m kind of useless,” LeMahieu said.
Last season, the Yankees got a glimpse of their inconsistency without LeMahieu, a contact hitter who compliments the power hitters on their roster. LeMahieu was arrested in September with a sports hernia, which was cured by surgery.
LeMahieu said he doesn’t think it will require surgery. He thinks a prolonged rest in the offseason will cure him.
“But, I’m just trying to finish the season, so I haven’t really thought about it yet,” LeMahieu said.
“It’s been a really tricky injury to get our arms and what treatments we can do,” manager Aaron Boone said. “If and when you can make a shot and things like that. We will see.”
Anthony Rizzo returned to the lineup after missing 14 games with a back problem on Sunday and Boone gave him a day off on Friday.
“He’s doing really well actually, the backs aren’t a problem,” Boone said. “It’s more that he was down for two weeks doing nothing and now this ramp up so looking at the schedule and we’re in the middle of these eight in a row it’s like when is i’m giving them one so we talked a lot about it last night me and him and even this morning it felt like the best day to do it and you know i hope that him will serve well.
Since returning from an epidural to treat back pain, Rizzo has hit .211/.286/.421 with a home run.
Harrison Bader, who made his Yankees debut on Tuesday night, also had the night on Friday. Bader was acquired by the Yankees on Aug. 2 from the Cardinals, where he had been on the injured reserve for more than a month with plantar fasciitis. It took him seven weeks to make his Yankees debut, but it was impressive.
Bader is 4 for 11 with a double and six RBIs in three games.
“Just good situational things he did. He runs the bases incredibly well. He got big hits in those first two games with runners in scoring position,” Boone said. “You see how athletic and basically sound he is in the outfield, the way he gets behind the balls to keep guys from advancing. He was just a spark and he did a lot of winning things in just three games.