LeMahieu earns 'Hustle' award for all-out style

July 16th, 2019

NEW YORK -- 's blue-collar approach has earned the first-year Yankees infielder numerous plaudits, and perhaps none of those accolades is more warranted than his selection as the team's 2019 recipient of the Heart and Hustle Award.

Bestowed by the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association, the Heart and Hustle Award honors active players who demonstrate a passion for baseball and best embody the values, spirit and traditions of the game. It is also the only award in Major League Baseball that is voted on by former players.

“We have such a good lineup that I don’t feel like I have to be the guy every night," LeMahieu said. "I just relax and hit. We have a couple really good hitting coaches that just encourage good routines and video. I’m just on a good roll and in a good place, and hopefully I’ll keep it going.”

The American League's starting second baseman in last week’s All-Star Game, LeMahieu entered play on Tuesday leading the AL with a .331 batting average. He was tied for the Major League lead with 37 multi-hit games and average with runners in scoring position at .444 (36-for-81), and he ranked third in MLB with 117 hits.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone said that he always believed LeMahieu's opposite-field, contact-hitting approach would translate well, adding that the 31-year-old infielder has also fit well in the Yankees’ clubhouse.

"He’s got a little better personality than he lets on, albeit dry and low-key," Boone said. "He’s got a pretty good personality when you cut through there a little bit. I expected him to be a really good player for us, and he’s obviously more than delivered on that front. He's been so valuable behind the scenes in our clubhouse and what he’s brought, but I would say his personality’s a little more exciting than might meet the eye."

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One Heart and Hustle winner was selected from each big league team, and a final winner will be announced on Nov. 7 in New York. Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner was MLB’s winner of the award in 2017, and Mookie Betts of the Red Sox brought home the honors in 2018.

Use the force

said his team is waiting on its high-octane offense to return from the All-Star break. The Yankees averaged 3.2 runs in their first four games after the Midsummer Classic after averaging 7.1 runs per nine innings to compile a 16-4 record heading into the break.

"Coming back from the All-Star break, sometimes, is a weird thing,” Voit said. "Sometimes it's a blessing; sometimes it's a little harder to get everything back. I expect big things. I know we're waiting on some guys to come back, but I expect this team to hit the ground running.”

Voit entered play on Tuesday 2-for-12 with seven strikeouts since his activation from the injured list, having missed eight games with a lower abdominal strain. He worked out at the Minor League complex in Tampa, Fla., over the break, bypassing a Minor League rehab assignment in favor of honing his timing at the big league level.

"I just need to bring that same enthusiasm I brought last year and make sure I have good at-bats, always getting on base," Voit said. "Let the guys behind me drive me in."

Rising star

Boone said that he reviewed video of Deivi Garcia's first Triple-A start on Monday, as the touted Yankees prospect aims to make a big league impact as soon as this season.

Garcia picked up the victory in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre's 6-4 win over Columbus, permitting three runs and six hits over five innings. Rated as the No. 4 prospect in the Yankees' system by MLB Pipeline, the 20-year-old righty walked one and struck out six, allowing a home run.

"It was a good first Triple-A start. He had a presence," Boone said. "It wasn’t as dominant as we’ve seen in some of his outings, but I think it was a very good first showing in Triple-A. He flashed all the pitches that have made him really special here so far this year."

In 15 starts at three levels of the Yankees' system, Garcia is 5-5 with a 3.18 ERA, ringing up 120 strikeouts against 34 walks in 73 2/3 innings. Opponents have batted .207 against him, including a .193 mark at Double-A, where he was 4-3 with a 3.00 ERA in 10 starts.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman recently said that he will not consider dangling Garcia for a rental player, such as the Giants' Madison Bumgarner, as the July 31 Trade Deadline nears.

Comeback trail

(left calf strain) continues to ramp up his activity as he eyes a Minor League rehabilitation assignment in the near future, hitting in the batting cage and running on the field. Boone said that Maybin will need to complete some arc runs around the infield before being cleared to play in games, "but he's doing well and getting closer."

(right knee sprain) has reported improvements over the last 24 to 48 hours, Boone said, as the slugger continues the rehab phase of his recovery. Boone said that while Stanton has not resumed baseball activities, "I feel like in his eyes he’s making a little more progress."

This date in Yankees history

July 16, 2006: Mariano Rivera recorded the 400th regular-season save of his career, sealing a 6-4 victory over the White Sox at Yankee Stadium. Rivera entered in the eighth inning with two men on and none out, then retired all six batters he faced.