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DJ LeMahieu returns to lineup vs. Orioles on Friday

Yankees get the infielder back in the lineup prior to the start of the playoffs.

DJ LeMahieu #26 of the New York Yankees looks to catch the ball during a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on September 02, 2022 in St Petersburg, Florida. Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

New York Yankees INF DJ LeMahieu was reinstated off the injured list on Friday and will return to the lineup vs. the Baltimore Orioles. The Yanks will continue to use Aaron Judge as the leadoff hitter to get him more ABs in his quest to pass Roger Maris for most HRs in a single season in AL history. Judge has 61 HRs on the season and needs one more to pass Maris. LeMahieu will play third base and bat fifth in his return.

LeMahieu had been placed on the IL about three weeks ago due to a toe injury. He had been struggling quite a bit prior to the injury, and most of the 2022 season. After winning a batting title in the shortened 2020 season, LeMahieu has hit in the .260 range the past two seasons, including .262 upon return Friday. Still, the return of LeMahieu is big for the Yankees, who are beginning to get healthy and play well at the right time.

New York has already clinched the AL East title and will likely be the No. 2 seed in the postseason in the AL. The Yankees will play the winner of the 3-6 matchup from the Wild Card round, which will be the Cleveland Guardians against either the Toronto Blue Jays, Tampa Bay Rays or Seattle Mariners. There are still about seven games left for each team and plenty that can change before next Friday, when the playoffs begin.