DUNEDIN, Fla. — To not be the Yankees’ rightfielder on Opening Day, Aaron Judge would have to have an almost inconceivably bad spring training.
One week into games, it’s been just the opposite.
The 6-7, 275-pound Judge, 24, whose strikeout total after his August call-up last season had quite a few in the organization concerned, has been rock-solid.
Judge went 2-for-3 against the Blue Jays on Friday, improving to 6-for-14 with a homer, triple, two walks and only two strikeouts in six games.
“He’s in his legs more this year than he was last year,” Joe Girardi said, referencing Judge’s balance. “I think he made a minor adjustment and I think it’s paying off.”
Judge’s most impressive at-bat was his first one. Facing lefthander Francisco Liriano with two outs in the first, Judge, who struck out in 42 of his 84 at-bats last season, fell in a two-strike hole before punching a line drive to right for a single.
“It’s cutting down on your swing and putting the ball in play,” Girardi said. “And as I’ve talked about with him, if he gets the barrel to the ball, good things are going to happen.”
Full days off for Headley, Castro
The vast majority of players not on the travel squad for a spring training road game still go through workouts at Steinbrenner Field, but Girardi told Starlin Castro and Chase Headley not to come in at all.
“They’ve been in camp a couple of weeks and haven’t had a day off, so just physically, I gave them a day of doing nothing,” Girardi said.
All the tools
Girardi continues to be impressed with hyped shortstop prospect Gleyber Torres, 20.
“I’m impressed by his at-bats. I think he has a real good understanding of what the situation calls for and what he needs to do,” Girardi said. “I think he runs the bases extremely well. He’s a complete player.”
Girardi said Torres, who went 0-for-2 Friday but is 5-for-9, will get some time at second base in the coming days.