TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — New York Yankees infielder DJ LeMahieu is feeling great as the two-time batting champion looks to put an injured-marred 2022 behind him.
LeMahieu was limited to 125 regular-season games and sat out the postseason because of a right toe injury. He has been working out at the Yankees’ minor league complex since December.
“I’m so excited (with) where I’m at right now,” LeMahieu said Sunday, a day before Yankees position players are to report to spring training. “How the season ended for me last year and our team — just where I’m at physically and mentally and to be back — I’m really in a good place and really excited to be around the guys again.”
LeMahieu said missing the playoffs, where the Yankees were swept in a four-game AL Championship Series by the eventual World Series champion Houston Astros, was the worst feeling.
“Just kind of gets you motivated,” he said.
LeMahieu, a three-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glove winner, went into a 2-for-38 slide through Sept. 4 before going on the injured list. He returned on Sept. 30 and was 4 for 13 with two walks, no extra-base hits and no RBIs. He finished the season with a .261 batting average, his lowest since 2011.
“I’m very confident going into this season,” LeMahieu said. “When you’re banged up, it’s frustrating. It’s so limiting that I couldn’t be myself.”
LeMahieu, who had a cortisone injection during the All-Star break, opted not to have surgery after consulting with specialists.
“It was definitely under consideration, but I think I made the right decision,” he said. “There was a lot of conversions there for about a month after the season.”
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