New York Yankees fans got a glimpse of good news on Monday.
Slugger Aaron Judge took 50 swings ahead of the team’s matchup with the Oakland A’s, his first time swinging a bat since suffering a fracture on his right wrist on July 26.
Judge told reporters he took 25 dry swings and 25 swings off a tee at 100 percent with hopes of returning to the lineup soon.
Aaron Judge: ‘Big step’ in swinging a bat
“Definitely a big step,” Judge told reporters. “I’m kind of on track with what we kind of wanted to accomplish, so I’m excited about the progress we’re making so far. It feels good. So I’ve just got to keep moving forward, keep having good days and just keep kind of building off that.”
Judge, who said a lack of pain prompted him to pick up a bat, did not give a time frame for a return. Neither did manager Aaron Boone.
“He’s excited about where he’s at,” Boone said. “Once we get through this weekend, if he continues to graduate then we start thinking about a possible timeline about maybe getting back. … I envision him once he’s able to be back that he’s a full-bore Aaron Judge player.”
Yankees cautious about new timeline for Judge’s return
A “full-borne Aaron Judge player” presumably means the kind of player who was hitting .285 with 26 homers, 20 doubles and 61 RBIs in 99 games before his injury.
Judge is five weeks out from the injury he suffered when he was hit with a Jakob Junis fastball while playing the Kansas City Royals. The Yankees had hoped to have him back within three weeks and appear cautious about laying any further timelines with his delayed recovery.
Yankees have new insurance policy in Andrew McCutchen
The Yankees traded for outfielder Andrew McCutchen from the San Francisco Giants last week as Judge’s injury has lingered. McCutchen, a former NL MVP and Gold Glove winner, provides a quality fill-in and a luxurious insurance policy as the Yankees have their eyes set on the World Series.
With McCutchen in the lineup, the Yankees can feel more confident in not bringing Judge back before he’s ready.
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