Yankees Place DJ LeMahieu on IL with Thumb Injury; Miguel Andujar Recalled

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 16, 2020

New York Yankees' DJ LeMahieu swings at a pitch from Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Cody Carroll during the ninth inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, July 29, 2020, in Baltimore. The Yankees won 9-3. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Julio Cortez/Associated Press

The New York Yankees announced Sunday they have placed American League batting leader DJ LeMahieu on the injured list with a left thumb sprain.

The second baseman suffered the injury during Saturday's game against the Boston Red Sox and left in the sixth inning. He was hitting .411 with a .456 on-base percentage so far in 2020, both leading the AL.

The injury creates space for Miguel Andujar, who was called up from the team's alternative site to take LeMahieu's spot on the roster. 

Andujar began the regular season with the team but struggled to get playing time and was just 1-for-14 in five appearances before being optioned.

The 25-year-old finished second in Rookie of the Year voting in 2018 but was limited to just 12 games in 2019 because of a shoulder injury.

Though he is healthy in 2020, the Yankees haven't had room for him in the lineup, even with injuries to Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge. Gio Urshela is the full-time third baseman while Brett Gardner, Mike Tauchman, Clint Frazier and Aaron Hicks man the outfield.

There is now a new chance for Andujar to prove himself at the major league level, but the Yankees will have to find an opening for him.

Adding offense could be key after losing the team's most consistent hitter in LeMahieu.

The 32-year-old finished fourth in MVP voting in 2019 after hitting .327 with 26 home runs, seeing significant playing time at third base, second base and first base. He has been just as good in 2020 while helping the Yankees begin the year with a 14-6 record.

New York ranks second in the majors with 115 runs on the season, but succeeding without LeMahieu could still be a challenge.