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Aaron Judge a week away from appearing in an exhibition game

Judge, coming off arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder last November, is a little bit behind his teammates in camp.

Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge on Photo Day 2018

Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge on Photo Day 2018 during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. Photo Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

TAMPA, Fla. — Aaron Boone finally has a target in mind for when Aaron Judge will appear in a spring training game.

“I would say we’re tentatively looking, probably about a week,” Boone said Wednesday. “He’s in a really good place physically.”

The Yankees open Grapefruit League play Friday at home against the Tigers.

Judge, coming off arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder last November, is a little bit behind his teammates in camp, but the slow pace has been more precautionary than because of lingering effects from the surgery. Since Monday, Judge has participated in most drills and has taken full rounds of batting practice, sessions that have gotten plenty of attention as his quartet includes Giancarlo Stanton and Gary Sanchez.

“In a lot of ways he’s raring to go,” Boone said of Judge. “But we’re just going to be real cautious with that, but I would say perhaps in the next week. Within a week from now . . . would be my expectation.”

In addition to Judge being held out of the first handful of games, Boone said Brett Gardner and Sanchez would not play Friday, but the pair probably would see action soon after.

“We’ll probably just sit them out a couple of days,” said Boone, stressing there were no injury issues with either player.

Lining them up

Boone said righthander Luis Cessa, a long shot contender for the fifth starter job, would start Friday’s exhibition opener, followed by Domingo German on Saturday, Jordan Montgomery, on Sunday and Sonny Gray on Monday. Montgomery, an AL Rookie of the Year candidate last year, is a strong favorite to be the fifth starter.

Boone said “it shouldn’t be too long” before Masahiro Tanaka appears in a game.

“He’s in a really good spot,” Boone said. “The ball’s coming out of his hand really well. We’re excited where he is physically right now in the spring.”

Blash dealt to Angels

The Yankees traded outfielder Jabari Blash to the Los Angeles Angels for either a player to be named or cash. The deal was announced Wednesday. Blash hit .213 with five home runs and 16 RBIs last season for San Diego. He batted .285 with 20 homers and 62 RBIs at Triple-A El Paso. The Yankees got the 28-year-old Blash from the Padres in December for third baseman Chase Headley, pitcher Bryan Mitchell and cash.

Blash had been designated for assignment this week after the Yankees acquired Brandon Drury.

New York Sports

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