Yankees sit DJ LeMahieu due to nagging hip injury
DJ LeMahieu’s nagging hip injury kept him out of the lineup for the Yankees’ critical showdown Friday night against the Rays, and his status remains cloudy heading into the final two days of the regular season.
The infielder saw a doctor on Friday afternoon, but manager Aaron Boone did not have an update on him after the Yankees came up short against the Rays, 4-3, in The Bronx.
“I’ll get with the trainers and see everything we have on him,” Boone said. “But I didn’t have anything as of game time, other than he was not going to be available tonight.”
Rougned Odor started at third base in LeMahieu’s spot and went 0-for-4 — including a strikeout to end the game with the tying run on second base.
The hip injury had kept LeMahieu out of last Saturday’s game against the Red Sox, but he started the next four games before leaving Thursday’s game early with hip soreness.
“I think [Thursday was] just one of those days where, as the game was unfolding, it really started to weigh him down last night,” Boone said. “It’s just something we’re going to have to manage through the rest of the way.”
After looking as if his season were over when he walked off the mound with a trainer on Tuesday in Toronto, Jameson Taillon might start Game 162 for the Yankees.
The right-hander threw a bullpen session Friday at Yankee Stadium, testing out the partially torn tendon in his right ankle, which he reinjured Tuesday. He came out of the session “very much in play” to start Sunday, according to Boone.
“[It went] really well,” Boone said. “He was sharp. He looks really good. He feels really good. Most importantly, his arm and everything is good. The ankle is responding. There’s no favoring, he’s letting it rip. His mechanics are really sound. So I would have to say the bullpen he just threw is very encouraging.”
The return of Taillon would save the Yankees from having to call up a starter or expend their bullpen on Sunday before a possible wild-card game on Tuesday.
If Sunday’s start goes better than his first one back from the injured list — when he lasted just 2 ¹/₃ innings while giving up one run against the Blue Jays — Taillon could also bolster his case to join the playoff rotation should the Yankees get past the wild-card game.
Kyle Higashioka started a third straight game behind the plate, catching Nestor Cortes Jr. and going 0-for-3. Gary Sanchez pinch-hit for him in the ninth inning, with the tying run on second base, and struck out.
Boone said Sanchez — who served as the DH for one of the games Higashioka caught in Toronto this past week — is healthy and will catch Jordan Montgomery on Saturday afternoon.
“One was going to catch tonight and one’s catching [Saturday],” Boone said. “So matchup-wise, I like it this way the best.”