MINNEAPOLIS – How much has Aaron Boone missed Aaron Judge?
“I’ve told him, sometimes at night I’ll write his name in the lineup just when I’m screwing around for fun,” Boone said with a smile before Tuesday night’s game.
The Yankees manager, day by day, is getting closer to being able to do that for real, though a specific timetable remains unclear.
Judge, on the disabled list with a chip fracture in his right wrist since July 27, responded well to taking batting practice on the field for the first time during his rehab Monday and repeated that on Tuesday. For the first time in his rehab, the rightfielder also threw to third and home from his position Tuesday.
“Just another positive step for him,” Boone said. “Took some more swings today [than Monday], pretty extensive defensive work he was able to get in. Excited about the direction he’s moving.”
Boone acknowledged “we have a little bit of an idea of a timeline” for Judge’s return, but didn’t specify.
“I’d rather it continue to unfold every day,” Boone said of the workload. “He’ll hit again [Wednesday], we have the off day Thursday. And then I think the work gets pretty extensive hopefully over the weekend, and then we’ll probably have a decision about how we’re going to go about things.”
When it is determined that Judge is just about game-ready, he’ll likely be sent to Tampa to face live pitching in simulated games.
Asked Monday night about what encouraged him most about his first outdoor BP session, Judge said: “Just the swings I was taking and how it’s been feeling. We’re ahead of schedule, I feel. We’re on the track. Just have to keep moving forward until the day I get out there.”