New York Yankees Aaron Judge threw his first live batting practice since his injury.
Jersey faced 16 pitches in a simulated game thrown by Jonathan Loaisiga, who is rehabbing from an elbow injury, before a game against the Kansas City Royals on Thursday at Yankee Stadium. None of them went into fair territory, and Jersey drew four fouls, according to the AP. One of them landed in the stands behind home plate.
It was a batting practice that tested his “feel” for the pitcher’s pitches without actually hitting them.
“Facing pitches that you can’t swing at is a test to get back on track,” said Yankees manager Aaron Boone, “so I’d say it was a good workout overall.”바카라
However, Boone remained noncommittal about a timetable for Judge’s return.
“In a situation like today, considering how long it’s been since he’s seen a live pitch, I think it was a pretty good hit,” said Loaiciga, who threw the ball to Jersey. He said his at-bat went well.
His next workout is still undetermined. It’s up to him. Only he knows how far he’s come since the injury and how his body is responding. Boone said he doesn’t think he’ll need to play any minor league games.
But the pace of his recovery has been accelerating since the All-Star break. During last week’s series against Anaheim and Colorado, he began taking batting practice, taking at-bats in Nestor Cortes’ simulation game, running and fielding ground balls in the outfield.
Yankees closer Ron Marinacchio high-fives catcher Kyle Higashioka after closing out an 8-5 win over Kansas City on Thursday (April 24). AFP
The Yankees are hoping to get Judge back as soon as possible. The Yankees have gone 18-22 since Judge went on the disabled list with a stubbed toe on April 4 against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Yankees, who swept a three-game series with an 8-5 win over Kansas City on Sunday, are 53-47 and six games out of the fifth wild-card spot, but are still tied for last place in the AL East with the Boston Red Sox. They are tied for fourth in the wild card standings, two games behind the third-place Toronto Blue Jays.
The Yankees offense hasn’t gotten any better in the second half. Through nine games in the second half, the team is batting .227 (295-for-67), 20th out of 30 teams, with a team OPS of .692, also 20th, and a team home run total of 12, tied for 15th. Jersey can’t come back soon enough.
Judge signed a nine-year, $360 million free agent contract last winter, choosing to remain with the Yankees. Shortly after signing, he was named the team’s first official captain in nine years, after Derek Jeter. He worked hard to prepare for the season, not to mention the WBC, but injuries were inevitable. He suffered a hip injury in a sliding play against the Minnesota Twins in late April, followed by a torn big toe ligament in his right foot in early June.
The last season the Yankees missed the playoffs was 2016. It’s hard to argue against the notion that some of the blame will fall on Jeter if they fail to make it to fall ball in seven years. Even more so if they fall to the bottom of the standings for the first time in 33 years since 1990.