New York Yankees: Aaron Judge eager to resume hitting

Andres Chavez
New York Yankees, Aaron Judge
Apr 14, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) hits an RBI single against the Chicago White Sox during the third inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

While New York Yankees‘ star right fielder Aaron Judge is making progress from a fractured right rib, he still isn’t ready to swing a bat and take batting practice in the cage. But the coronavirus pandemic is giving him plenty of time to get ready for whenever the MLB season starts.

Judge is eager to take batting practice, and according to Marcus Thames, the Yankees’ hitting coach, it hasn’t been easy for the team to keep him out of the cage. However, it is important, with rib injuries, not to rush back because the risk of re-aggravation is rather high.

The talented Judge has spent the better part of the last two months working out at George M. Steinbrenner Field, undergoing imaging and resting and testing that continue to show progress, albeit a bit slower than most fans would want.

He hasn’t swung a bat since early March. “It’s been tough,” Thames told the YES Network on Thursday. “He walks by the cage. He comes in to help the guys pick up balls, and he really wants to get going, but we’re just trying to stay safe. When the doctors turn him loose, he’ll be ready to go. He’s champing at the bit to get out there and start working hard on his swing.”

The Yankees are playing it safe

Judge reported early for the New York Yankees’ spring training, in late January, but after a few weeks, he shut down baseball activities due to discomfort in his right shoulder and right pectoral area. Doctors performed multiple MRIs, bone scans, X-rays and CT scans and announced the fractured rib on March 6.

“Once we resume play, we’re excited to believe that he’s going rejoin us at full capacity,” Cashman said last week.
Judge is arguably the New York Yankees’ best position player, but he has missed more than 100 games between the last two seasons after making a big splash as a rookie in 2017, with 52 home runs and the Rookie of the Year award.

Another slugger who is expected to be healthy when the season starts (if that ends up being the case) is Giancarlo Stanton, who suffered a Grade 1 calf strain during spring training.

“He’s been looking good,” Thames said of Stanton. “I think his swing is where it needs to be. We’ve been hitting off the machine and hitting BP on the field. He’s a pro. He comes in and gets his work in and we’re trying to make sure he’s healthy and ready to go. I think his teammates are excited about that.”