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Video: Every Juan Soto ‘shuffle’ from the 2019 postseason

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The 2019 postseason was, in a lot of ways, America’s introduction to Juan Soto. Those of us who follow the sport on a regular basis were already well aware of the now-21-year-old’s talent, but he had not yet become a household name until the past month.

Beyond Soto’s immense talent — he has a career .287/.403/.535 batting line with 56 home runs and 180 RBI in two seasons — he ranks among the game’s most confident, sometimes flashy players. His calling card is the little dance he does in the left-handed batter’s box after taking a pitch, heretofore dubbed “the Juan Soto shuffle.” Zach Crizer of Baseball Prospectus put it on the map in April and it has only become cemented as a part of Soto’s repertoire since then. The shuffle varies, of course — sometimes he crouches, sometimes he doesn’t; sometimes he sweeps his foot in the box, sometimes he doesn’t. The end result, however, is the same: high quality entertainment.

In October, Soto continued to rake, posting a .277/.373/.554 battling line along with five homers and 14 RBI in 75 plate appearances. And, perhaps just as importantly, he continued to do his famed shuffle.

MLB has done us all a huge favor, making a compilation of all of Soto’s shuffles from the 2019 postseason. Enjoy.

We have complained here at times that the league hasn’t done enough to market its young stars. For example, it wasn’t until recently that MLB unveiled its “Let the Kids Play” campaign, which resulted in two ads. Marketing Soto as one of the game’s most skilled and interesting personalities, as opposed to implicitly shaming him for his antics, is a big win for the league and hopefully it continues.

Yankees place Aaron Judge (strained calf) on IL

Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW YORK — Yankees star Aaron Judge was placed on the injured list with a right calf strain before Friday night’s game against Boston and manager Aaron Boone is optimistic the outfielder will not miss significant time.

The move was retroactive to Wednesday and Boone described the strain as mild after an MRI revealed the injury. To replace Judge on the roster, Thairo Estrada was recalled from the Yankees’ alternate site in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Judge began Friday leading the majors with nine homers and tied with Colorado’s Charlie Blackmon for the major league lead with 20 RBIs.

“It’s something that I think he really wants to try and work through here and kind of wants to be out here and feels like it’s a day-to-day thing which it may very well be, but I just think obviously it goes without saying how important a player Aaron is to us,” Boone said.

Boone had said last weekend’s series on the artificial turf in Tampa Bay took its toll on the 6-foot-7 outfielder.

Judge joined Giancarlo Stanton as the second Yankees slugger to land on the injured list this. Stanton was placed on the IL with a strained hamstring after getting hurt in the second game of last Saturday’s doubleheader.

“We’ve lost two MVP-caliber players,” Boone said. “Obviously that is a blow, especially two guys that playing well as they are right now.”

Judge was pulled for a pinch hitter during Tuesday night’s win over Atlanta and didn’t play Wednesday. The Yankees were off Thursday.

The 28-year-old All-Star missed time during July’s training camp because of a stiff neck.

The 2017 AL Rookie of the Year hit 27 homers in each of the last two seasons, both of them interrupted by injuries. His right wrist was broken when he was hit by a pitch in 2018 and he went on the injured list for two months last year with a left oblique strain.

Judge was diagnosed with a broken rib in March and would not have been ready for the season opener if the season began as scheduled on March 26.