Yankees’ DJ LeMahieu feels great after injury-marred season

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
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TAMPA, Fla. – 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.”

Dodgers place pitcher Noah Syndergaard on injured list with no timetable for return

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Katie Stratman/USA TODAY Sports

CINCINNATI — The Los Angeles Dodgers placed pitcher Noah Syndergaard on the 15-day injured list Thursday with a blister on the index finger of his right throwing hand.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said the timetable for Syndergaard’s return is unknown despite the 15-day designation.

“The physical, the mental, the emotional part, as he’s talked about, has taken a toll on him,” Roberts said. “So, the ability to get him away from this. He left today to go back to Los Angeles to kind of get back to normalcy.”

Syndergaard allowed six runs and seven hits in three innings against the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night, raising his ERA to 7.16.

Syndergaard (1-4) has surrendered at least five runs in three straight starts.

Syndergaard has been trying to return to the player he was before Tommy John surgery sidelined him for the better part of the 2020 and 2021 seasons.

Roberts said Syndergaard will need at least “a few weeks” to both heal and get away from baseball and “reset.”

“I think searching and not being comfortable with where he was at in the moment is certainly evident in performance,” Roberts said. “So hopefully this time away will provide more clarity on who he is right now as a pitcher.

“Trying to perform when you’re searching at this level is extremely difficult. I applaud him from not running from it, but it’s still very difficult. Hopefully it can be a tale of two stories, two halves when he does come back.”