The Yankees announced that infielder DJ LeMahieu is headed to the 10-day injured list, retroactive to September 5, with toe inflammation on his right foot. Miguel Andújar has been recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to take his spot on the active roster. New York also reinstated starter Nestor Cortes from the IL after optioning out Deivi García following last night’s ballgame.
LeMahieu has been out of action since Sunday dealing with the toe discomfort. He’s battled the issue off and on for a few weeks, and he’ll need at least another week off to recover. It certainly appears as if the discomfort has had an effect on LeMahieu’s performance, as he’s struggled mightily of late. Going back to the start of August 1, he’s hitting .187/.254/.243 through 119 trips to the plate. That’s obviously nowhere close to the .285/.389/.424 line he carried through the end of July. Precisely when LeMahieu started hurting isn’t clear, but he’s seemingly been operating at less than full strength.
The organization hasn’t provided a specific timetable for his return, although the fact that they’ve waited a few days to put him on the IL could suggest they don’t anticipate it being a long-term absence. New York also just lost Anthony Rizzo to the IL, though, leaving them particularly short-handed on the infield. They called up former Ranger first baseman Ronald Guzmán this week, and he started one of the club’s games in their doubleheader against the Twins yesterday. Utilityman Marwin González got the nod there in the nightcap, and he’s back in the lineup at first tonight. Gleyber Torres, Josh Donaldson (who’s currently on paternity leave), Isiah Kiner-Falefa, rookie Oswald Peraza and Andújar round out the healthy infield mix at the moment.
The silver lining of today’s news is that the Yankees welcome Cortes back from his own IL stint. He only missed a bit more than two weeks with a groin issue. The southpaw owns a 2.68 ERA through 131 innings on the season. He’ll make his 24th start of the year tonight against Minnesota.
The Yankees enter play Thursday holding a five-game lead over the Rays in the AL East. They’re five games back of the Astros for the top record in the Junior Circuit, seemingly setting themselves up to secure the #2 seed in the postseason. A second-half swoon has knocked the club off its once-historic pace, but they’ve still got a strong chance of securing a first-round bye.