Jaime Garcia expects to begin rehab assignment this week

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Cardinals left-hander Jaime Garcia told Jim Hayes of FOX Sports Midwest on Sunday that he expects to begin a minor league rehab assignment later this week. It seems possible that he would only require one start before returning to the St. Louis rotation.

Garcia has been on the disabled list since late June because of a left groin strain. He threw a bullpen session without issue Saturday at Busch Stadium and Cardinals manager Mike Matheny noted afterward that Garcia “had a little hop in his step.”

Garcia owns a stellar 1.69 ERA and 0.88 WHIP in 48 innings (seven starts) this season, but injuries have been a constant speed bump for him over the last three years. He holds an $11.5 million option for 2016 and a $12 million option for 2017, so these next few months will be hugely important to the 29-year-old’s future.

Tim Cooney has been filling in as the fifth starter for the MLB-leading Cardinals.

Aaron Judge out of Yankees starting lineup for finale after No. 62

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
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ARLINGTON, Texas — Yankees slugger Aaron Judge wasn’t in the starting lineup for New York’s regular-season finale, a day after his 62nd home run that broke Roger Maris’ 61-year-old American League single-season record.

When Judge homered in the first inning Tuesday night, in the second game of a doubleheader against the Texas Rangers, it was his 55th consecutive game. He has played in 157 games overall for the AL East champions.

With the first-round bye in the playoffs, the Yankees won’t open postseason play until the AL Division Series starts next Tuesday.

Even though Judge had indicated that he hoped to play Wednesday, manager Aaron Boone said after Tuesday night’s game that they would have a conversation and see what made the most sense.

“Short conversation,” Boone said before Wednesday’s game, adding that he was “pretty set on probably giving him the day today.”

Asked if there was a scenario in which Judge would pinch hit, Boone responded, “I hope not.”

Judge went into the final day of the regular season batting .311, trailing American League batting average leader Minnesota’s Luis Arraez, who was hitting .315. Judge was a wide leader in the other Triple Crown categories, with his 62 homers and 131 RBIs.

Boone said that “probably the one temptation” to play Judge had been the long shot chance the slugger had to become the first AL Triple Crown winner since Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera in 2012.