Yankees manager Aaron Boone told the YES Network during this afternoon’s game that the Yankees have no timetable for when Aaron Judge will be ready to play in spring training games. Judge has been limited in his baseball activities so far due to a balky shoulder that has required “maintenance,” according to the Yankees. The big right fielder recently began hitting in the cage but has not seen pitching in games. Boone said that Judge is going through a series of tests as the Yankees continue to monitor his health.
The Yankees’ relationship with the injury bug has seemed to pick up right where it left off in 2019. Starter James Paxton has undergone back surgery, while fellow pitcher Luis Severino just had Tommy John surgery. Meanwhile slugger Giancarlo Stanton is down with a calf strain that may keep him from being ready for Opening Day, and outfielder Aaron Hicks is recovering from his own Tommy John procedure that he had late in October.
Last season’s cascade of injuries led to the Yankees overhauling their training staff over the winter. Whether Judge and Stanton’s current woes are lingering effects from the team’s old training methods is unknown, but Boone and the rest of the organization can’t be thrilled.
There hasn’t been any talk of Judge potentially missing Opening Day just yet, but the Yankees have a fair amount of outfield depth. Clint Frazier and Mike Tauchman are the presumptive favorites to handle left field in Stanton’s stead, and Miguel Andújar has been learning to play left as well as a way to get his bat into the lineup. Utility man Tyler Wade can play the outfield, and the Yankees also have veterans Zack Granite and Rosell Herrera in camp.
Those guys aren’t MVP-level talents like Judge. The Yankees would like to have the face of their franchise firing on all cylinders.
It’s not what you want.