NEW YORK -- On Sunday, the New York Yankees were forced to place DJ LeMahieu, a versatile infielder, on the injured roster.
LeMahieu admitted that he was experiencing unspecified discomfort in his hip/groin area a week ago and needed to have an MRI. Aaron Boone, the manager, announced Saturday that LeMahieu was diagnosed with a sports hernia. He received a cortisone shot.
The Yankees were hopeful that LeMahieu would be able to continue treating the injury and getting rest and treatment, and possibly even participate in Sunday's game. Boone informed LeMahieu that he would be placed on the injured list for a 10-day period after going through his pregame routine before the regular-season finale against Tampa Bay Rays.
"I went through some things this morning with him, and just felt that he was just too complacent right now. He was open to doing whatever we asked him to. He's just too complacent to be able play at the level we expect from DJ. Boone stated that he didn't believe it was fair to him. "So today, we made the hard decision together to IL him. We will see how the week unfolds. We'll also see if there's an ALCS situation. But we won't know.
New York also sent Luke Voit, a slugger, to the 60-day injury list. This ended the 2020 home run champ's season. Voit was suffering from inflammation in his left knee, which he had previously had surgery to repair in spring. Voit was placed on the injured list. Voit batted.239 in 68 games, a year after leading the league with 22 homers in 2020's pandemic-shortened season.
Boone stated that LeMahieu had been diagnosed with sports hernia in the "last week or 10 days" and that the Yankees were trying to see if they could get through it before making a decision about whether to put him on the injured roster.
The Yankees will use a combination Gleyber Torres and Gio Urshela, Rougned Oor, Tyler Wade, Andrew Velazquez to cover the left side infield for tiebreakers or early round postseason games. Rookie pitcher Luis Gil was brought up from Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to replace LeMahieu on the active roster.
"Probably mix and match with those guys; the matchup was based on who is on the mound, etc." Boone said that he envisioned it as a mix-and-match situation. "Obviously DJ is a great player and one of our team's heart and souls. It was difficult to come to that conclusion today. Our team is so grateful for him, both in the literal and the personal sense. It's hard, but it also creates an opportunity for someone else to step in, as I always say."
ESPN reported that "this is a big loss for our team," Carlos Mendoza, Yankees bench and infield coach, said. Everyone knows who DJ LeMahieu and what he brings the team. This is because DJ has a high tolerance for pain. DJ is the player who can tolerate extreme pain. He couldn't do it anymore. He was wrong. The rest of the players must now step up, because we don't have time to feel sorry.
LeMahieu has a batting average of.268 and is leading the Yankees with 160 hits.
With a Game 163 tiebreaker on Monday, the Yankees season is still in flux. Boone stated that Gerrit Cole, the Yankees' ace, will pitch against the Boston Red Sox or the Toronto Blue Jays, depending on whether a Game 163 is required. The Yankees will play Game 163 against the Red Sox if there is a tie.
This report was contributed by The Associated Press.