Steven Brault
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Pirates pitcher Steven Brault releases showtunes album ‘A Pitch at Broadway’

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First and foremost, let it be clear that I am no theater buff. I also didn’t major in vocal performance like Steven Brault did. I certainly don’t have the necessary blessings from the heavens to both have a good voice and a major league arm. Brault has both. Some guys have everything.

As if the mere act of reaching the big leagues wasn’t enough, Brault decided to flex on all of us yesterday by dropping an album of him performing songs from a variety of musicals, including “Hamilton,” “Wicked,” and “The Phantom of the Opera.” The Pirates left-hander is no stranger to putting his vocal talents to use during his baseball career, having performed the national anthem at Pirates games on multiple occasions. The dude’s got pipes.

Like I said, I’m no theater buff. I’ve only seen a few shows on Broadway. It’s not that I don’t enjoy musicals, it’s just that I don’t get out to see them all that often. So while I’m not exactly an expert on these matters, Brault’s voice sounds right at home in these songs to me. His vocal training shines through and he’s a naturally gifted singer. I particularly enjoyed his rendition of “Music of the Night” from “Phantom,” and I say that as someone who can’t stand Andrew Lloyd Webber (no, there aren’t any jellicle “Cats” covers on the album).

Brault’s Pittsburgh teammate Josh Bell has a cameo on the album, providing some spoken word work on “Wait for Me” from “Hadestown.”

“A Pitch at Broadway” is available on Apple Music and Spotify. You can find Brault’s website here.

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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.