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Hip/groin issue keeps DJ LeMahieu out of Yankees' starting lineup

The Yankees' DJ LeMahieu slides to score as

The Yankees' DJ LeMahieu slides to score as Rangers catcher Jonah Heim leaps for a throw during the third inning of an MLB game at Yankee Stadium on Sept. 20. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

BOSTON — Add DJ LeMahieu to the list of Yankees banged up late in the season.

LeMahieu, who was not in the lineup Saturday against the Red Sox, has been dealing with a "hip/groin thing" in recent weeks, Aaron Boone disclosed before the game.

"He was pretty beat up after last night’s game," Boone said of the infielder, who went 1-for-4 with a walk in the Yankees’ 8-3 victory Friday. "Hopefully it’s something that a day will help him out and [he’ll] be back in there [Sunday night]."

Boone said LeMahieu, who has never really gotten it going consistently at the plate this season, couldn’t trace the issues to any one specific day or game.

"No, it's just been something that's kind of been lingering now for a little bit and he's kind of just been grinding through it," Boone said. "But last night, afterwards he was pretty banged up with it and then this morning, just getting with him, [decided] he needed a day today."

LeMahieu won the MLB batting title last season (.364) and had a 1.011 OPS after hitting .327 with an .893 OPS in his first season with the Yankees in 2019. He came into Saturday hitting .268 with a .712 OPS in 146 games. LeMahieu has shown signs of a spark, going 26-for-89 (.292) with a .711 OPS in his last 23 games.

"I feel like he's swinging the bat well. I think it’s more just the moving around [in the field]," Boone said of the impact of the ailments on LeMahieu’s offense. "I think in some ways it kind of affects everything, but I feel like at the plate he's in a pretty good spot."

LeMahieu, who signed a six-year, $90 million free-agent deal in the offseason, is a three-time Gold Glove winner at second base who has played second, third and first in his time with the Yankees. He’s been playing far more third of late with Gleyber Torres being moved back to second from shortstop, where his defense became too much of a liability.

LeMahieu, though solid at the other positions, clearly stands out as a second baseman. With LeMahieu out Saturday, Rougned Odor got the start at third with Gio Urshela again starting at short, the case since Torres’ move back to second.

Speaking of Gleyber . . .

Torres went 3-for-5 with a homer in Friday night’s victory and entered Saturday hitting .406 in his last nine games (13-for-32). Torres brought a 10-game hitting streak into the game, and though his resurgence at the plate has corresponded with his move back to second, Boone said he can’t say for sure if that’s concretely the case.

"There may be something to it,’’ Boone said before adding another possibility. "It might be a good player starting to lock in this time of year . . . All I know is he’s playing really well for us."

Extra bases

Boone reiterated what he said Friday regarding righthanders Jameson Taillon (right ankle tendon tear) and Jonathan Loaisiga (right shoulder strain). Taillon is likely to start one of the upcoming games in Toronto and Loaisiga, who was slated to throw a bullpen session Sunday, might be activated at some point during the Blue Jays series, though the reliever’s return could be pushed to the final series against the Rays Oct. 1-3 at the Stadium.

New York Sports