Yankees: Aaron Judge will miss the first spring training game due to a sore right shoulder
Yankees position players had their first full-squad workout of the spring on Tuesday but Aaron Judge was unable to take on-field batting practice due to right shoulder maintenance. According to manager Aaron Boone the star slugger has been dealing with soreness for a couple of weeks and was shut down from hitting about a week ago.
Well, this certainly isn’t how the Yankees and Judge wanted spring training to begin. Although the injury to his shoulder is reportedly viewed as a minor issue it’s hard not to be a little concerned given Judge’s recent history with injuries.
In 2018 a right wrist fracture was the main reason why he missed 50 games and a season ago a strained oblique limited him to just 102 games. Injuries have been the only thing that’s prevented Judge from putting together an MVP caliber campaign like the one he had as a rookie in 2017, so hopefully, his cranky shoulder won’t set him back for too long.
During his afternoon media session, the Yankees skipper told reporters that he doesn’t think it’s a big issue.
Judge didn’t take batting practice on Tuesday but as Boone noted he was able to take part in other things like outfield drills. We’ll have to wait and see when he can start hitting again, but the good news is the MRI didn’t reveal any changes in his shoulder.
With spring training just underway the Yankees are definitely going to be cautious with Judge and not rush him back into game action. There’s still over a month left in camp before the regular season starts so there’s plenty of time for him to shake the rust off and get enough at-bats under his belt before Opening Day.
In his first press conference of the spring, Judge reassured that he doesn’t think the shoulder soreness is anything serious but says he’ll take it slow over the next couple days. He also gave his first public statements about the Astros cheating scandal and confirmed that he took down an Instagram post congratulating Jose Altuve for winning the 2017 AL MVP.
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This was as open and upset as you’ll ever see Judge in an interview and rightfully so. Not only was he robbed of an MVP award in ’17 but more importantly he and his teammates were cheated out of a shot to go to the World Series which is something that’s always going to leave a bad taste in his mouth.
Judge also revealed that he wasn’t a fan of the punishment handed down to Houston by the commissioner. He believed it was weak because it was a player-driven scheme and all the Astros players somehow received immunity. He shares the same sentiments with fellow stars like Cody Bellinger, Mike Trout, Kris Bryant and teammate Gleyber Torres who have all expressed their displeasure with the investigation in recent days.
Everyone around the league is still extremely disappointed and upset which reflects very poorly on the commissioner. At some point, all the teams and players are going to have to move on from this and start focusing on the upcoming season but it doesn’t sound like that’s going to happen anytime soon.