Big Toe Crucial To New York Yankees Success in 2023
Starting in early September last season, his name, rather his bat was noticeably absent from the New York Yankees lineup. The last two years have not been vintage seasons for DJ LeMahieu, however being a two-time batting champion creates some pretty high standards. Injuries to the 2022 Gold Glove- Utility Player's big toe and second toe, hampered LeMahieu for the better part of the '22 season.
However, Aaron Boone and the players on the roster would rather have a DJ LeMahieu at 80% healthy than most players at 100%. The 34 year-old's steady bat at the top of the Yankees lineup was desperately missed in the postseason. For the Pinstripes, playing without DJ in the batting order was like running without their "big toe." Good news Yankees fans, LeMahieu reported to spring training and the Yankees' "big toe" feels good.
“I'm excited. I'm very confident going into the season," LeMahieu told friend of The Drive with Charlie & Dan, Erik Boland of newsday.com. LeMahieu said that surgery was on the table immediately after the Yankees fell to the Astros in four games in the ALCS. However, the utility star and the team physicians chose a different path.
“It (surgery) was definitely under consideration, but we weren't sure if we wanted to do surgery on the big toe, the second toe or both. It was just never clear like this was going to be it, and this is the rehab (length), and this is how it's going to feel, so I think I made the right decision,” LeMahieu told Boland.
A healthy DJ LeMahieu in October is crucial for the Yankees success in the playoffs and an ultimate World Series run. LeMahieu's consistent ability to make contact would have changed the make-up of Aaron Boone's batting order. The Yankees lacked the player that could drive the run in, no matter what it took. It's tough to walk with an injured big toe. It's even tougher to run. DJ LeMahieu says he is ready to run. He had better be. If the Bronx Bombers have their sights on getting into the World Series in 2023, they will certainly need a healthy "big toe."