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DJ LeMahieu injury: Yankees’ likely leadoff hitter could miss start of season with ‘significant bone bruise’

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New York Yankees infielder DJ LeMahieu may not be ready for Opening Day because of what manager Aaron Boone on Monday termed “a pretty significant bone bruise” on his right foot. 

The veteran LeMahieu, 35, is penciled in as the Yankees’ starting third baseman and leadoff hitter as they attempt to rebound from a disappointing 82-win season in 2023. LeMahieu is coming off a 2023 campaign in which he slashed .243/.327/.390 with 15 home runs in 136 games. Over the last three seasons combined, LeMahieu has an OPS+ of 101. 

This leaves the Yankees in a tough spot at third base. Under normal circumstances, they’d likely turn to Oswald Peraza to fill in for LeMahieu, but he’s sidelined with a shoulder strain, likely until at least May. The Yankees could put Oswaldo Cabrera at the hot corner on a temporary basis, but they may be inclined to look outside the organization for a low-cost stop-gap. 

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It’s already been a challenging spring for the Yankees in terms of injuries. Ace Gerrit Cole’s elbow problems will sideline him for perhaps three months or more, and star slugger Aaron Judge is presently limited by an abdominal injury

The Yankees open the regular season on March 28 against the Astros in Houston. 

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