BALTIMORE – Aaron Judge spent a good portion of Tuesday afternoon with bat in hand.
And while he did nothing more than take some super light, super slow dry swings in the Yankees’ bullpen and later stand in and track pitches when Masahiro Tanaka threw a side session, the rightfielder is gradually increasing baseball activities.
“It’s him just wanting to start to ramp back up,” Aaron Boone said of Judge’s decision to stand in against Tanaka. “Get some visual reps there where you can create a little bit of timing for yourself. He’s not swinging a bat yet, but he’s moving closer toward being able to do that.”
Judge, out since April 21 with a significant oblique strain on his left side, only recently began upping his on-field work. There remains no timetable for his return. He played catch and did light running while the Yankees took batting practice before Tuesday night’s game against the Orioles.
“He’s just a couple of days into throwing now,” Boone said. “He’s starting to ramp up a little bit.”
Stanton scratched at Tampa
Giancarlo Stanton, who went 1-for-3 with a homer and two strikeouts in his first rehab game with High-A Tampa Monday, was supposed to DH Tuesday night for Tampa but was scratched for precautionary reasons, Boone said. Stanton was hit by a pitch three days ago during a live BP session “in his calf/knee-ish area.”
“That spot had tightened up a little bit,” said Boone, adding Stanton got through all of his pregame work just fine. “Don’t think it’s a big deal. Expect him to play tomorrow.”
Paxton likely by next week
James Paxton (left knee inflammation) said he felt “next to nothing” during a bullpen session Tuesday. The plan, Boone said, is for Paxton to pitch in a simulated game Friday in Tampa at the minor-league complex, and, if everything goes well, for the lefthander to be activated next week.
Tanaka good to go
Tanaka was forced from Saturday’s game with a right shin contusion, the result of a Yandy Diaz ground smash that came off the bat at 111.3 mph. He came through his bullpen fine and is slated to start here Thursday afternoon.