The Red Sox have designated A.J. Pierzynski for assignment

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The Red Sox, with rumors of trading this or that player swirling, are apparently calling it a season. Or, at the very least, are trying something different than they tried heading into 2014. The move:

Pierzynski is experiencing his worst season at the plate since becoming a full-time big leaguer, hitting .254/.286/.348. Twenty-three year old Christian Vazquez has been called up. He and David Ross will be splitting catching duties for the duration, but it would make a lot more sense for Vasquez to get most of the reps.

Pierzynski is making $8.25 million this year. He’ll clear waivers and the Sox will be on the hook for the balance of that, but it’s unclear if any other team would want to take a chance on him. Worst case: we see A.J. working for TBS or Fox or whoever this postseason. He’s actually pretty darn good with that stuff.

Aaron Judge returns to the Yankees lineup

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The lineups for the Red Sox-Yankees game for this evening were just released and, lo and behold, Aaron Judge is back in it for the Yankees. He’ll be batting second and playing right field.

Judge was activated four days ago but had been limited to defense and base running. As of yesterday signs pointed to him not hitting today, but he took swings in a simulated game for the second straight day today — taking advantage of the previously-scheduled day game being moved to this evening — and things must’ve gone well.

Judge has been out since late July due to a fractured wrist suffered when he was hit by a fastball from Royals pitcher Jakob Junis. He has taken longer than expected to recover from the injury and the Yankees have felt his absence as he was hitting .285/.398/.548 with 26 home runs and 61 RBI in 447 plate appearances when he went down and no one has, obviously, been able to replace his production.

Now he’s back to help the Yankees fend off the A’s for the top Wild Card spot.