Yanks monitoring LeMahieu's status for ALDS

October 11th, 2022

NEW YORK -- The Yankees are continuing to wrestle with several key decisions as they finalize their roster for the American League Division Series, including gauging the health of infielder DJ LeMahieu, who has been slowed in recent weeks by a right foot injury.

LeMahieu returned from the injured list to play in five games at the end of the regular season, making starts at first base, second base and third base. LeMahieu had four hits in 16 at-bats (.250) against the Orioles and Rangers, saying at the time that he felt good enough to grit through the remainder of the year.

“That’s one of the things obviously we’re waiting on,” Boone said on Monday. “I feel like he was still compromised. That’s what I was seeing. We want to see how he is today and what he’s able to do, and make that determination.”

LeMahieu has continued to receive treatment for the ailment, which was officially announced as inflammation of the right second toe. LeMahieu has said there is also an issue with the big toe on his right foot.

Boone has said that while surgery is not considered necessary, LeMahieu is not expected to recover completely until he rests during the offseason.

If LeMahieu does not make the roster, the Yankees may opt to carry rookie infielder Oswald Peraza, infielder/outfielder Marwin Gonzalez, or outfielder Tim Locastro. Boone has previously said that Matt Carpenter will be on the roster as a pinch-hitter and/or designated hitter.

“If you’re going to go on a deep run and be a champion, you’ve got to get it from different places at different times,” Boone said.

Fall ball
Gerrit Cole remembers receiving a call from veteran catcher Brian McCann shortly before the two were about to become teammates with the Astros in 2018.

“You know the postseason is a drug, right?” McCann said, according to Cole’s recollection.

Cole agreed then, and he continues to feel that way now as the right-hander prepares for his Game 1 assignment in the ALDS. Cole will be making the 15th postseason start of his career and his fifth as a Yankee; he’s 2-1 with a 3.98 ERA in the previous four.

“It's always special, I think, any time somebody gets selected to lead the team into battle,” Cole said. “And I think what comes with that responsibility is preparedness, poise and to be on the attack.”

Cole was 13-8 with a 3.50 ERA in 33 starts, setting a new franchise record with 257 strikeouts, eclipsing Ron Guidry’s 1978 tally of 248. Boone said that Cole’s issues with home runs allowed -- an American League-leading 33 -- kept him from being more strongly considered as a Cy Young Award candidate.

“I feel like he's throwing the ball incredibly well,” Boone said. “I feel like he has all year. I feel like his stuff has been really consistent. The long ball has been the thing that's kept it from being a Cy Young season. There's no reason to think he can't go out there and dominate. It comes down to execution. If he goes out and executes, we'll be in a good spot.”

Pen pals
Boone said that the Yankees have finalized their bullpen and will carry a 12-man pitching staff for the ALDS. With Gerrit Cole, Nestor Cortes and Luis Severino set to make starts against the Guardians, Jameson Taillon will be on the roster in relief.

“He could be anything from a long reliever to closing the game,” Boone said. “I think he’s in play for anything.”

Boone said that Wandy Peralta is expected to be active for the ALDS, as is Clay Holmes, who was scheduled to throw from the mound on Monday as he recovers from right shoulder inflammation. Boone declined to announce his complete bullpen, saying that not all of the players had been told yet.

“We have a lot of capable guys down there,” Boone said. “It’s going to take all of them. I can see a number of them hopefully closing out games for us.”