TORONTO — Joe Girardi decided to give Brett Gardner one more day to rest his right shoulder but expects him to be in the lineup Saturday.
“Still a little sore,” Girardi said before Friday night’s game. “So I said, ‘Let’s take today.’ ”
Gardner was hit by a pitch in the fifth inning of Wednesday’s 11-3 victory over the Twins. He stayed in the game, but Girardi sent up Clint Frazier to pinch hit for him in the seventh. Frazier started in leftfield Friday night.
“The one thing I don’t want him to do is to alter his swing at all where he feels a little weakness there and tries to swing,” Girardi said. “He is available to me tonight, I’d like to stay away from him, but I’m thinking he’ll be a player tomorrow.”
Gardner is coming off a homestand in which he went 11-for-25 (.440) in six games. He had 10 hits in his last 18 at-bats.
It’s a virtue
Aaron Judge seems to have finally emerged from the horrendous slump he endured after the All-Star break. On Friday night, he hit his 46th homer and a long double and walked twice. The 469-foot blast gave him seven homers and 15 RBIs in his last 11 games. He entered the game with a 1.212 OPS in his last 16 games and has 118 walks this season (to go with 199 strikeouts).
What has keyed the surge? “I think his patience,” Girardi said. “Even through his difficult time, he was still managing to walk and get on base. I think that patience paid off. Most players during the course of the year are going to go through a little bit of a bad period, but he got through it.”
From July 14 to Sept. 2, Judge had a .176/.337/.340 slash line, seven homers, 17 RBIs and 70 strikeouts in 46 games (159 at-bats). At one point, he struck out in 37 consecutive games (63 total strikeouts).
Before the All-Star break, Judge had a .329/.448/.691 slash line, 30 homers and 66 RBIs in 84 games.
Girardi said Adam Warren (lower back spasms) is slated to throw a bullpen session Saturday. Aaron Hicks (left oblique) will take batting practice and play in a simulated game on Saturday in Tampa.
“It’s going like we expected,” Girardi said. “We’ll keep our fingers crossed.”
Girardi said the hope is for both players to rejoin the club at some point during next week’s regular season-ending homestand.