DJ LeMahieu has recovered from COVID-19 and will rejoin the New York Yankees this week.
DJ LeMahieu expected to rejoin the Yankees this week, source tells The Athletic.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 16, 2020
James Wagner of The New York Times first reported on July 4 that LeMahieu and pitcher Luis Cessa had both tested positive for the virus. Cessa had mild symptoms and has since recovered, while LeMahieu was asymptomatic.
It is not known how either player got infected. However, LeMahieu remained in Florida to keep in shape after the pandemic shut down MLB operations.
LeMahieu signed a two-year deal with the Yankees prior to last season and ranked second in the American League with a .326 batting average. He also set career highs in home runs and RBI en route to his third All-Star Game.
General manager Brian Cashman once called the Yankees a “fully operational Death Star,” and DJ LeMahieu’s return supports this idea. New York has Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton fully healthy ahead of Opening Day. Since he was already training in Florida and exhibited no symptoms, LeMahieu should be game-ready soon.
But more importantly, DJ LeMahieu’s return gives the Yankees options. Though a two-time Gold Glove second baseman, LeMahieu can play multiple positions. In 2020, he spent significant time at both corner infield positions. In the playoffs, he was the starting first baseman in place of the injured Luke Voit.
Moreover, LeMahieu can field all of those positions well. He posted a combined DRS of 6 and a combined UZR of 3.5. Put his elite fielding next to his dangerous bat, and it’s no wonder he finished fourth in AL MVP voting.
Simply put, DJ LeMahieu’s recovery from COVID-19 is the best news the Yankees could have hoped for. Aaron Judge returned to the lineup tonight after missing time with a stiff neck and says he is good to go. Giancarlo Stanton is also healthy after just 72 plate appearances in 2019.
Add LeMahieu to the mix, and you have the man who sets the table for Judge and Stanton. Put all three together, plus the incredible Gleyber Torres, and you have a recipe for a championship lineup.