NEW YORK (AP)Second baseman DJ LeMahieu returned to the field for the New York Yankees on Friday after missing nearly two weeks with COVID-19.
LeMahieu took grounders at second base and was to hit indoors but was not scheduled for the Yankees’ intrasquad game. Manager Aaron Boone announced on July 4 that LeMahieu and right-hander Luis Cessa tested positive for the coronavirus before traveling to New York and said they were self-isolating at home.
Boone wasn’t sure whether LeMahieu would be ready for Thursday night’s opener at Washington.
”I don’t want to commit one way or the other,” Boone said. ”That would be a pretty quick turnaround, obviously.”
LeMahieu signed with the Yankees before the 2019 season and hit .327. He set career highs with 26 homers and 102 RBIs while splitting time among first, second and third. He turned 32 on Monday.
”I don’t worry so much about DJ finding his timing,” Boone said. ”I’m sure he’ll want to gather as many live at-bats as he can, obviously, but I’m pretty certain that’ll come back quick. Obviously, a lot of it will be where’s he at from a leg and buildup standpoint and how do we build them up to be ready to play day in and day out, nine-inning games.”
Following the departure of shortstop Didi Gregorius as a free agent, LeMahieu is expected to be mostly a second baseman this season as Gleyber Torres shifts to shortstop.
”He’s still got to get some at-bats, and he’s got to get some rep,” hitting coach Marcus Thames said.
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