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Aaron Boone pines for Aaron Judge’s return to Yankees’ lineup

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Yankees outfielder Aaron 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. Judge has taken longer than expected to recover from the injury and his absence has been felt. The Yankees have gone a measly 25-18 (.581) compared to 65-36 (.644) when he was healthy. Tongue planted firmly in cheek with the “measly” comment, of course.

Judge is missed so much that, much like a middle schooler writing their and their crush’s initial inside a heart in the margin of their science notes, manager Aaron Boone longingly writes Judge’s name in the lineup card at night, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports. Boone said, “I talk to him and sometimes at night I’ll write his name in the lineup when I’m screwing around, for fun.”

Judge took on-field batting practice on Monday and will do so again on Tuesday. Per Hoch, Boone said, “We have a little bit of an idea of timeline but I’d rather it continue to unfold every day. He’ll hit again tomorrow. I think the work is pretty extensive hopefully over the weekend. We’ll probably have a decision of how we’re going to go about things.”

Assuming Judge is able to return before the end of the regular season, he’ll resume with a .285/.398/.548 batting line along with 26 home runs and 61 RBI in 447 plate appearances. The Yankees entered Tuesday’s action trailing the first-place Red Sox by eight games in the AL East and holding the first of two Wild Card slots.

Brett Cecil placed on 10-day injured list due to Carpal Tunnel syndrome

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On Monday, Cardinals reliever Brett Cecil was placed on the 10-day injured list due to Carpal Tunnel syndrome. Cecil, who notably lost 42 pounds since the end of the 2018 season, was having trouble with his mechanics throughout spring training and only logged two official Grapefruit League innings.

Cecil, 32, is entering the third year of his four-year, $30.5 million contract. He struggled last year, finishing with a 6.89 ERA and a 19/25 K/BB ratio in 32 2/3 innings. The lefty dealt with shoulder and foot injuries during the season as well.

The Cardinals bolstered the bullpen in December, signing lefty Andrew Miller to a two-year, $25 million deal. It would be nice to have a healthy and effective Cecil, but the high-leverage workload will be managed by Miller and Jordan Hicks as well as Alex Reyes.

Cecil was among a handful of Cardinals to hit the injured list on Monday, joining Carlos Martínez (right shoulder cuff strain), Jedd Gyorko (right calf strain), Luke Gregerson (right shoulder impingement), and Justin Williams (right hand second metacarpal fracture).