M’s Kikuchi placed on IL, may still head to All-Star Game

Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports
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SEATTLE — All-Star pitcher Yusei Kikuchi of the Seattle Mariners was placed on the injured list on Sunday.

However, it’s possible that he could still participate in the upcoming All-Star Game festivities in Denver.

Manager Scott Servais said he couldn’t comment on Kikuchi’s status “for a number of different reasons,” but that he was “not that concerned with where’s he’s at.”

“I still think he’s planning on heading over to the All-Star Game,” Servais said.

No other details were available about the pitcher’s status.

The Mariners promoted promising catching prospect Cal Raleigh to take his place in the lineup. Raleigh will make his debut later Sunday against the Los Angeles Angels. He’ll catch a bullpen day from the Mariners staff.

Kikuchi has been one of the top left-handers in baseball this season, his third since signing with the Mariners and moving over to the major leagues from Japan. He’s 6-4 with a 3.48 ERA and 98 strikeouts.

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.