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With days off planned, Yankees practicing caution with Aaron Judge

BALTIMORE — Usually, it’s opponents that are careful with Aaron Judge.

But with the slugger back from a torn toe ligament that’s not 100% healed, he and the Yankees know they need to proceed with caution. That’s why, as of Saturday night, Aaron Boone favored resting Judge for Sunday’s rubber match against the division-leading Orioles.

The manager stayed with his original decision as Judge was left out of the lineup Sunday. Jake Bauers got the start in place of Judge in right field.

“I don’t know yet,” Boone initially said when asked if Judge would play Sunday. “Right now, I’m leaning towards no, but we’ll see.”

The manager stayed with his inclination, as Judge was left out of the lineup Sunday. Jake Bauers got the start in place of Judge in right field.

“Not that difficult a decision,” Boone said Sunday after also giving DJ LeMahieu the night off. “Difficult to not have [Judge] in there. You don’t like that part of it. But the decision, I feel like you kind of had to do it.”

The Yankees activated Judge on Friday and had him DH. He walked three times in a losing effort before playing right field, recording three hits and crushing a 442-foot home run in Saturday’s 8-3 win. With the Yankees in last place and 3.5 games out of the final Wild Card spot, their lineup looked reenergized with Judge in it, thus prompting follow-ups to Boone’s already-stated, probable plan to give the captain a day off this weekend.

That plan has been met with criticism on social media each time it’s come up given where the Yankees are in the standings prior to Tuesday’s trade deadline. But the team wants to make sure that Judge builds up properly after the Yanks chose not to send him on a rehab assignment. Instead, Judge participated in three simulated games at Yankee Stadium and at the club’s complex in Tampa.

With the Yankees in the midst of an uninterrupted 13-game stretch, there are no natural off days to work with.

“I want him in every game,” Boone said. “We have 13 in a row. I kind of look at it as, hopefully, he’s in a position to start nine or 10 of them. And as much as I want to run him every day, forget the toe. He hasn’t come close to even playing games for almost two months. So as much as I want him in there, we got to be smart here a little bit, especially in this run.”

Judge, meanwhile, has said that he’d like to play in each of the Orioles games, as he feels he needs to make up for “a lot of missed time.” Told of Boone’s plan for the 13-game stretch, he struck a balance between wanting to compete and getting why the team wants to avoid overdoing it.

“I understand it,” he said with a smile. “I’m not happy about it, but that’s a discussion we’ll have on our own. We’ll see the schedule we come up with and kind of go from there.”

Boone said that Judge could be available in some way off the bench on Sunday.


Source: Berkshire mont

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