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Yanks believe 'The Machine' worthy of ASG nod

Tarpley recalled from Triple-A as Yankees shuffle bullpen
@BryanHoch
June 26, 2019

VOTE NOW! The All-Star Starters Election ballot is open until Thursday at 4 p.m. ET. Questions? Our complete guide to voting will fill you in on everything you need to know.

VOTE NOW! The All-Star Starters Election ballot is open until Thursday at 4 p.m. ET. Questions? Our complete guide to voting will fill you in on everything you need to know.

NEW YORK -- After DJ LeMahieu sprayed the ball around in Monday's 10-8 victory over the Blue Jays, registering his first four-hit game as a Yankee while extending his hitting streak to 10 games, he added two hits in Tuesday's 4-3 win, including a record-setting home run to lead off the bottom of the first inning.

LeMahieu's teammates long ago stopped registering surprise at his consistent contact-hitting approach. It is one of the main reasons why the Yankees believe that he deserves to represent the American League at the July 9 All-Star Game in Cleveland.

"Just another day at the ballpark," Aaron Hicks said. "The guy gets hits. That's what he does. He's not called 'The Machine' for nothing."

Box score

That nickname was bestowed upon the infielder by catcher Gary Sanchez, and it has staying power, as does LeMahieu. He is one of six Yankees who are in the Starters Election, which runs through Thursday at 4 p.m. ET.

Also vying for All-Star nods are Sanchez, first baseman Luke Voit, third baseman Gio Urshela, shortstop Gleyber Torres and outfielder Aaron Judge. Ballots can be cast at MLB.com and via Google Search.

"I'd love to see them in that game," said manager Aaron Boone. "As a fan of this game, growing up in this game, the All-Star Game was always a big deal to me. It's something I've always watched, something I've always cared about. This year we're in Cleveland, so I like seeing all the wrong home uniforms in the American League park. That's the thing that always stands out to me."

The Yankees wrap the first half on July 7 at Tropicana Field, and chances are good that LeMahieu will be asked to pack his pinstripes for that trip. He entered play on Tuesday leading the AL with a .331 batting average, which ranked fourth in the Majors, and paces the Majors in hits (32) and batting average (.478) with runners in scoring position.

"Now I just need to keep it going," LeMahieu said. "I'm just trying to stay within myself, not trying to do too much. There's a lot of baseball. If I was struggling, I'd tell myself there's a lot of baseball. So I've just got to keep going. I feel like I've been on a pretty good roll here for a while now."

Bullpen shuffle
The Yankees optioned struggling reliever Jonathan Holder to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after Monday's game, and the club recalled left-hander Stephen Tarpley to take the right-hander's place on the roster.

Tarpley had an 8.53 ERA in eight appearances earlier this year with New York, but the 26-year-old has been building stamina in his Minor League efforts, recording at least six outs in nine of his 14 appearances.

"We feel like he's capable of that," Boone said. "There could be multiple roles for him in a particular game depending on our needs for that game or who is available. It may be in short stints where we want him to get a lefty out. We also feel like he's capable of giving us multiple innings if he's out there pitching well."

Boone described telling Holder he was heading to the Minors as one of the more difficult conversations he has had to have as a manager. Holder pitched to a 3.14 ERA in 60 appearances last year but has registered a 6.81 ERA over 31 appearances this year.

"At times this year he was pitching all right, but I feel like lately, the fastball command hasn't been there for him," Boone said. "He's a strike-thrower and that starts with fastball command. I don't think his breaking ball has been as sharp as it normally is. Those are two things that hopefully he can go down there in that environment and get worked out and then get back to us."

Bombers bits
Kendrys Morales
, whose place on the roster was effectively nixed by the acquisition of Edwin Encarnacion from the Mariners on June 15, was designated for assignment by the Yanks on Monday. Morales batted .177 (11-for-62) with a homer and five RBIs in 19 games after being acquired from the Athletics on May 14. He sustained a left calf strain on June 11.

Comeback trail
Domingo German
is scheduled to make a Minor League rehabilitation start on Thursday for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Boone said, adding that the right-hander could rejoin the Yankees' rotation after the London series if all goes well.

German has been on the injured list since June 9 (retroactive to June 8) with a left hip flexor strain.

This date in Yankees history
June 25, 1934: Lou Gehrig became the fourth Yankee to hit for the cycle, doing so in a 13-2 victory over the White Sox. Gehrig also accomplished the feat on Aug. 1, 1937, against the St. Louis Browns.

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and Facebook.