WASHINGTON, D.C. — DJ LeMahieu is back atop the Yankees’ lineup. The All-Star second baseman will make his 2020 season debut Saturday night leading off against the Nationals after missing Opening Night. LeMahieu was one of three Yankees players who had contracted the coronavirus before the season started, and the first to return to games.
LeMahieu took live at-bats off Jordan Montgomery during Friday’s off day to get ready for his first game.
“He was able to get a number of at-bats and then got his ground ball work in... then just meeting with him, he feels like he’s ready,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said before Saturday night’s game. “This is kind of the first day I think he felt really locked in, where he’s raring to go. So, we’ll see how it unfolds tonight, I may not play him the whole game, because with the lefty going tomorrow I’d like him back in there tomorrow.... but I do feel good about where he’s at physically, the number of at-bats he’s been able to accumulate, and feel like mentally he’s ready to go.”
LeMahieu was one of two Yankees players who were unable to travel to New York because they tested positive. Luis Cessa tested positive and was held back two weeks. He is also expected back this week.
Aroldis Chapman cleared the intake testing, but tested positive for COVID-19 on July 9. As of Wednesday, the closer was still testing positive, GM Brian Cashman revealed.
LeMahieu said he got tested after coming in contact with someone who had been diagnosed with a confirmed case of COVID-19. He was wrapping up his quarantine in Florida and wanted to go visit his father before heading to the spring training reboot. He said he was shocked when the test came back positive. With no symptoms, he was able to work out during his isolation. It took about a dozen tests before he was able to have the back to back negatives that cleared him to travel to New York.
The 32-year-old was an All-Star for the third time in his nine-year career in 2019, the first year of his two-year deal with the Yankees. He slashed .327/.375/.518 with a career-high 26 homers and 102 RBI.
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