TAMPA — DJ LeMahieu was not within the Yankees’ Opening Day lineup in 2019 however nonetheless put collectively an All-Star season whereas piling up 655 at-bats.
The infielder might be in an analogous place on Thursday, however he and the Yankees will surely take the identical finish outcome.
Supervisor Aaron Boone was not but prepared on Tuesday to disclose his lineup for the opener in opposition to the Crimson Sox, but it surely’s not a assure that LeMahieu can be in it. Relying on how they wish to line up in opposition to Crimson Sox right-hander Nathan Eovaldi, the Yankees might select to go together with Josh Donaldson at third base, Gleyber Torres at second base, Isiah Kiner-Falefa at shortstop and Anthony Rizzo at first base.
LeMahieu, who is anticipated to maneuver across the infield this season in an on a regular basis utility position, mentioned he wouldn’t be dissatisfied if his title will not be in Thursday’s beginning lineup.
“There’s at all times plenty of concentrate on Opening Day, but it surely’s positively a marathon,” LeMahieu mentioned Tuesday earlier than the Yankees broke camp.
LeMahieu performed 150 video games final season — together with 77 begins at second base, 36 begins at third base and 33 begins at first base — however struggled on the plate, batting .268 with a .711 OPS, earlier than lacking the tip of the season with a sports activities hernia that required surgical procedure.
The 33-year-old — who’s within the second 12 months of a six-year, $90 million contract — mentioned he feels wholesome once more after having a “heightened focus” within the offseason on ensuring he took care of his physique. He completed Grapefruit League play batting 9-for-30 with an .831 OPS.
“I really feel actually good,” LeMahieu mentioned. “I believe the workforce is in a very great spot. The shortened spring has put an emphasis on high quality over amount, which I believe has helped us. So I believe it’s been good.”
Boone has constantly mentioned this spring that the Yankees’ crowded infield would work itself out with everybody getting loads of at-bats. And although they remained wholesome via spring coaching, LeMahieu believes their depth and flexibility will serve them properly to take care of inevitable accidents in the course of the season.
“You see guys transferring round positions a little bit bit greater than the previous couple years,” LeMahieu mentioned. “I believe that can solely profit us staying on the sphere. Generally prior to now, if a man goes down right here or there, it’s actually taken a giant hit. So hopefully — accidents are going to occur — however after we hit these bumps within the highway, hopefully we’ve got guys which can be extra ready to step up.”