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Yankees third baseman DJ LeMahieu to start season on the IL

TAMPA. Fla. (AP) — New York Yankees leadoff hitter DJ LeMahieu will start the season on the injured list because of a bruised right foot, the latest injury setback for the former batting champion.

The 35-year-old third baseman has been sidelined since fouling a ball off the foot on March 16. He is expected to miss at least the seven-game trip that starts Thursday at Houston.

“It’s a little bit slow go on the recovery side,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Monday. “He banged it up pretty good.”

An MRI and CT scan last week were both negative. Cashman said there will be a follow-up MRI this week.

LeMahieu was slowed the past two seasons by an injured right toe.

Gleyber Torres will get time as the leadoff hitter against left-handers, while Alex Verdugo will top the order against right-handers. Oswaldo Cabrera could fill in at third.

Verdugo started in left field in Monday's exhibition against the New York Mets. He was scheduled to make the trip with a split squad to Mexico City but was scratched because his pregnant girlfriend needed to go to a hospital.

First baseman Anthony Rizzo was the designated hitter against the Mets after missing three days with a sore lat. He expects to be back at first on Thursday.

Rizzo went 0 for 2. He took a called third strike on a 3-2 pitch from Seam Manaea to complete a seven-pitch at-bat in the first and lined out to second during the fourth against the left-hander.

Rizzo was limited to 99 games by injuries last year and ended the season sidelined by post-concussion syndrome. He played for the final time on Aug. 1

“Opening day is a special day.” Rizzo said. “You can’t take it for granted. It means a lot to be on the field.”

Verdugo grounded out twice, had an RBI fielder's choice, and made a nifty diving catch on Brett Baty’s fifth-inning fly ball.

Minor league infielder Jorbit Vivas was scratched due to a facial bruise that occurred during pregame work. The Yankees’ medical staff found no concussion symptoms and Vivas went to a hospital for evaluation.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb