Rangers prospect Cole Ragans will undergo Tommy John surgery

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Rangers left-handed pitching prospect Cole Ragans is set to undergo Tommy John surgery later this week, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported Sunday. Ragans experienced elbow discomfort during his minor league start last week and was later diagnosed with a torn UCL. He won’t take the mound again until 2019 at the earliest.

Ragans, 20, was the Rangers’ first-round pick during the 2017 draft and ranked no. 4 in their system ahead of the 2018 season. He attracted scouts’ attention with a low-90s fastball and plus curveball and changeup, and had varied success during his first run in Low-A Spokane last year, turning in a 4.24 ERA, 5.5 BB/9 and 13.7 SO/9 in 57 1/3 innings.

Ragans isn’t the only Rangers prospect dealing with elbow issues this spring. According to further reports from Wilson, right-hander and no. 8 prospect Kyle Cody has been suffering from elbow inflammation for the last three weeks and is expected to be reassessed by the team after another 3-4 weeks of inactivity. There’s a possibility that he could undergo Tommy John surgery as well, though the team has yet to make that call.

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

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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.