CHICAGO — The Yankees’ inconsistent offense was without one of its hottest recent hitters Wednesday night.
DJ LeMahieu was a late scratch with right-calf tightness that kept him out of the Yankees’ 9-2 loss to the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field.
“Just felt something in [batting practice] in his calf,” manager Aaron Boone said after the game. “Went out for ground balls and just wasn’t quite right. We’ll see.”
LeMahieu ended up not being available to pinch-hit. The Yankees have Thursday off before they open a series on Friday in Miami, and Boone said the team would continue to monitor LeMahieu.
The veteran infielder sat out Tuesday as well, but Boone said at the time that he was OK physically.
Entering Wednesday, LeMahieu was hitting .309 with a .824 OPS over his last 23 games.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa moved from shortstop to third base to take LeMahieu’s place while Oswaldo Cabrera started at shortstop.
After unsuccessfully fighting against going on the 15-day injured list, Carlos Rodon is doing everything he can to make sure he has the minimum stay.
The left-hander threw from flat ground Wednesday, his second day of throwing after was diagnosed with a “low-grade” hamstring strain on Monday.
While Rodon is not eligible to pitch again until Aug. 22, he and the team hope that continuing to throw during his IL stint should allow him to return once the 15 days are up.
“For me, there’s no doubt,” Rodon said Wednesday. “Obviously that’s up to the powers that be. I’ll be ready when they need me on the mound.”
Boone said on Monday that Rodon was “adamant” about not going on the IL, but the Yankees decided to err on the side of caution instead of allowing him to pitch while slightly compromised.
“I understand they were trying to protect me,” Rodon said. “This is a long-haul kind of thing. Obviously I want to be on the mound and compete, as any one of my teammates should be the same way. But it’s one of those things that it’s not up to me.”
It’s the latest setback this season for Rodon after he signed a six-year, $162 million contract. He suffered a forearm muscle strain in spring training, then experienced back discomfort that delayed his season debut until July. In six starts between IL stints, Rodon posted a 7.33 ERA.
“It’s pretty frustrating,” Rodon said of his season. “At this point, it’s kind of one of those things that’s behind me. It is what it is. I was out there competing, felt a hamstring and just gotta put that behind me and get ready 13 days from now to take the ball. That’s kind of where I’m at, looking ahead, not behind.”
The Yankees were still plotting out a plan for when Rodon might throw a bullpen session, but he said he did not feel any problems on Wednesday while throwing from about 120 feet.
The Yankees will push Nestor Cortes back a day to start on Saturday against the Marlins, with Gerrit Cole going on Sunday. That leaves Friday open, with Randy Vasquez likely to be called up from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre for the start, though Boone said they could use an opener.
Anthony Volpe was out of the starting lineup for only the eighth time this season Wednesday, though he later entered as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning and walked, ensuring he has still played in all 115 of the Yankees’ games.