Yankees Notebook: Aaron Judge ready to return — and avoid headfirst slides

·4 min read

After a few days of hitting off machines, running and throwing behind the scenes, Aaron Judge is ready for the real thing.

The Yankees slugger is set to return from a right hip strain on Tuesday, he and Aaron Boone confirmed Monday. Judge still had to go through a normal pregame routine before Monday’s series opener against the Athletics, but the plan is for him to be in Tuesday’s lineup, as it’s been about five days since he’s felt anything with his hip.

Boone added that he doesn’t anticipate Judge having any restrictions moving forward.

“Ready to go,” Judge said Monday at Yankee Stadium. The outfielder went on the injured list on May 1, and the team initially announced the stint was retroactive to April 28. On Monday, the team amended that backdate to April 29, making Tuesday the earliest Judge could return.

Judge’s hip injury stemmed from a headfirst slide on April 26 when he tried to steal third base with the Yankees up 5-0 in Minnesota. His right hand was the initial concern, but Judge stayed in the game and played the next day in Texas. He left that game with the hip strain, though.

Even though the Yankees were up 5-0 in the Twins game, Judge doesn’t regret the stolen base attempt. Minnesota had hung 11 runs on the Yankees earlier in the season, and he saw an opportunity to pad a lead if the lefty-swinging Anthony Rizzo pulled a ball to the right side.

With that said, Judge added that he tries to avoid headfirst slides. He’ll continue to do so, though he’s not making any guarantees.

“It’s just kind of instincts,” he said. “I don’t know what happened. I tell myself to slide feet-first, and I feel like I’m gonna be out, so I just kind of dive. I was trying to get to the base. I can’t promise you it won’t happen again, but we’ll try not to.”

Judge was also asked if, moving forward, he’ll be more hesitant about playing the day after getting banged up. He said the Yankees wanted to rest him on April 27 against the Rangers, but he felt he could suit up.

“I want to play every single game,” Judge said. “I feel like I’m pretty cautious with things, but that was just a fluke thing that happened on that one.”

Boone, meanwhile, is excited about getting the reigning MVP back. The last-place Yankees could use Judge’s offense and defense, as well as the intangibles Boone said the captain brings.

“That’s gonna be fun to write his name in,” the manager said.


Judge’s return means someone has to go Tuesday. The Yankees have a few choices in that regard.

They could put Oswald Peraza on the injured list, as he’s been day-to-day with an ankle injury since May 3. Boone said the infielder was available to pinch-hit Sunday.

“We’ll continue to monitor and see how he’s doing,” Boone continued. “It’s kind of been day-to-day. He’s doing really well, but we also don’t want to jeopardize him at all or put him in a bad spot out there.”

The Yankees could also demote Peraza or Oswaldo Cabrera, who hasn’t been hitting. Alternatively, Willie Calhoun and Jake Bauers are out of options, but either could be designated for assignment if the Yankees are willing to part with some depth. The same goes for Aaron Hicks, but the struggling outfielder is owed $30.5 million over the next three years, including this season.

“Everything [is] on the table,” Boone said.


With the A’s in town, it’s a perfect time to revisit last summer’s trade between Oakland and the Yankees. The A’s received youngsters JP Sears, Cooper Bowman, Luis Medina and Ken Waldichuk, while the Yankees acquired Frankie Montas and Lou Trivino.

Neither Trivino (Tommy John surgery) nor Montas (shoulder surgery) have pitched for the Yanks this season due to injuries. Montas pitched poorly when healthy last season, though Trivino recorded a 1.66 ERA in 25 games after the trade.

The A’s, meanwhile, haven’t seen much success from the package they received, though that group is still gaining experience. Sears, Monday’s starter, carried a 5.06 ERA into his reunion with the Yankees, for whom he threw serviceable innings for last season before being dealt.

“You really dig in a little bit, he’s pitched a lot better than [his ERA],” Boone said, nodding to the southpaw’s underlying metrics. “He’s throwing the ball well, and we saw that last year. Came up in some big spots where we really needed him. So we know he’s talented.”