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New York Yankees Have Big Decisions to Make When Injured Players Return

The New York Yankees had to deal with some injuries during spring training. The good news is that just two players, Gerrit Cole and DJ LeMahieu, got injured, and they aren’t dealing with many injuries like the New York Knicks. On Saturday, Yankees manager Aaron Boone provided an injury update.

Gerrit Cole

Cole had his third bullpen session since injuring his elbow on Saturday, throwing 29 pitches. It’s unknown how many sessions he’ll have to have before he faces hitters, but the plan is to simulate two innings in the next couple of sessions.

“Fastball profiles were good," Cole said. "Location was good. Velocity was where we wanted. A lot of strikes."

Cole added that he’s making good progress in his recovery. The reigning AL CY Young Award winner should be back and make his season debut sometime in June. Cole’s return will be great for the Yankees as they will have their ace back. Yankees starters rank seventh in the majors with a 3.36 ERA. Even though Luis Gil and Clarke Schmidt have been great, the Yankees' pitching will be even better when Cole returns and could rank higher than seventh in ERA.

DJ LeMahieu

LeMahieu has been out with a right foot injury. He has participated in live batting practice at the Yankees complex in Tampa. Boone said that he will have batting practice again on Tuesday and is getting close to getting a rehab assignment. If LeMahieu keeps progressing, he’ll be back very soon. When LeMahieu is ready to return, what will happen to Oswaldo Cabrera and Jon Berti? Most likely, they will go to the bench and be LeMahieu’s backup. Should LeMahieu struggle when he returns, Cabrera should play third base. Cabrera had a hot start to the season and would be the best choice to play third, even though he’s in a little bit of a slump right now.

Jasson Dominguez

Dominguez is one of the Yankees' top prospects. He will begin his rehab assignment with Single-A Tampa on Tuesday or Wednesday. For the first two weeks of rehab, he will be the designated hitter, and then he will get to play in the outfield. Last year, he hit .265 with 15 home runs, 76 RBIs, and 83 walks in the minors. He was called up to the majors in September and hit .258 with four home runs in eight games with the Yankees before injuring his right elbow and having Tommy John surgery.

When Dominguez’s rehab assignment is done the Yankees will have to decide whether to put him on the roster or option him to the minors. It'll be a tough decision because the Yankees have a crowded outfield with Aaron Judge, Juan Soto, Alex Verdugo, Giancarlo Stanton, and Trent Grisham.

“Hopefully it is a tough decision at that point, because good things are happening here,” Boone said. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”

Boone added that he thinks Dominguez is a big leaguer and will have a promising career in the majors. However, Dominguez will probably be optioned to the minors after his rehab assignment. The Yankees have a lot of outfielders, and there’s currently no room for Dominguez. If someone gets hurt, then Stanton would probably fill in since he’s playing great right now. The Yankees would have to have multiple injuries in the outfield in order for Dominguez to be a part of the roster.

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