Aaron Judge took a seat in the back of the Oakley Store in Manhattan on Friday morning for a Q&A to promote his new endorsement deal for its eyewear. But this was Day 15 of the Aaron Judge wrist watch, as in: When will his chip fracture be healed so he can start swinging again?
So the first question from the media was about the state of the Yankees rightfielder’s right wrist. It’s still out of order from the errant pitch thrown by the Royals’ Jakob Junis at the Stadium on July 26, but Judge appears to be getting closer to picking up a bat. The Yankees originally said it would be about three weeks before he could swing again in a game situation.
“The wrist, it’s feeling all right,” Judge said. “It could be better. But I’m still right on track. Hopefully, I’ll swing the bat here in the next couple of days, next week, at some time. We don’t have a timetable on that yet. But I know pretty shortly we should start ramping it up and get going, get swinging again.”
Judge was batting .285 with 26 homers and 61 RBIs when he went down. The Yankees dropped six of their next nine, capped by getting swept in a four-game series in Boston. But entering Friday, they had won four straight to move back to 30 games above .500 at 72-42.
That Boston massacre seemed to take the Yankees out of the AL East race, and they were eight games behind the Red Sox heading into Friday night. But Judge refuses to concede the division.
“August just started,” he said. “We’ve still got August and September. A lot of crazy things can happen. So for us, our goal has always been the division. It doesn’t matter how many games we’re back. We’re going to keep still fighting for that because we’ve got a good team.”
The endorsement deals keep coming for one of the faces of the game. Pepsi, Rawlings, adidas, Panini and JBL are among the other companies on the roster for the two-time All-Star.
“Coming from Linden, California, with a couple of thousand people there and now I’m in New York City getting a chance to play for the Yankees and partner up with those great companies,” Judge said, “it’s a dream come true.”