DJ LeMahieu’s second Yankees rehab assignment set to begin

DJ LeMahieu is about to give a rehab assignment another try.

After his previous attempt lasted only one inning before he was pulled with soreness in his injured right foot, the Yankees veteran infielder is set to start a rehab assignment again on Thursday or Friday with Double-A Somerset.

Because it has now been nearly two months since he played in a game, when he suffered the non-displaced fracture by fouling a ball off his foot, LeMahieu will need more than a few games to build up his workload before being ready to join the Yankees.

“We don’t have a hard and fast [number of at-bats] with him, but definitely want him to play games and get some volume under his belt,” manager Aaron Boone said Tuesday before the Yankees beat the Twins 5-1 at Target Field. “Then we’ll see how comfortable he is as he goes at-bat wise.”

Boone said LeMahieu will play the field right away on his rehab assignment but he won’t immediately play a full game, instead building to seven to nine innings over time.

On Tuesday at the club’s player development complex in Tampa, LeMahieu took four or five at-bats against live pitching after doing so for the first time on Saturday.

Yankees third baseman DJ LeMahieu (26) takes infield practice before a game against the Oakland Athletics

DJ Lemahieu’s initial rehab start lasted just one inning

Boone said he did not know whether LeMahieu would get more imaging on his foot before beginning the rehab assignment.

The 35-year-old had gotten imaging before his first attempt, with doctors wanting to see more healing and pushing back the rehab assignment by four days.

LeMahieu then played one inning and got one at-bat on April 23 before being pulled from the game and shut down for a week.

Also on Tuesday in Tampa, Gerrit Cole (elbow nerve inflammation) completed his fourth bullpen session in which he threw about 36 pitches, a step forward from the 29 on Saturday.

Cole had indicated over the weekend he would need to progress to a two-up bullpen session — meaning throwing the equivalent of one inning, sitting and then throwing more pitches — before advancing to live batting practice, but Tuesday’s session was still only one up.

“Just onward and upward,” Boone said.

Cole and LeMahieu were both flying back to New York later on Tuesday.

Jasson Dominguez (Tommy John surgery) began his rehab assignment on Tuesday with Single-A Tampa, serving as the DH and going 1-for-3 with a walk — the single coming against ex-Yankee Domingo German.

“It’s nice to be back on the field and do what I love,” Dominguez told reporters including the Associated Press. “It feels good. Everything going as planned,”

Dominguez will DH only for the first two weeks before adding outfield to the mix — he is currently throwing up to 150 feet — which will come late in his 20-day rehab clock.

If he has no setbacks, the Yankees will have to either activate him or option him to Triple-A (the latter being more likely, barring injuries to the big league club) by June 3.

Tommy Kahnle (shoulder) had his rehab assignment transferred to Double-A Somerset, where he struck out the side on 10 pitches Tuesday. It marked the third of what is expected to be five rehab appearances.

Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole throws a bullpen session before a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays, Saturday, May 11, 2024

Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole throws a bullpen session before a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays

In addition to Dominguez, infield prospect Jorbit Vivas also started a rehab assignment with Single-A Tampa on Tuesday. After sustaining a left orbital fracture on the final day of spring training, he had come back to play in two games for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in late April, but then went back on the IL after dealing with some aftereffects of the injury.

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