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Joe Girardi: You pick your spots with Aaron Judge trying to steal bases

Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees signs

Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees signs autographs after the game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on May 16, 2017 in Kansas City, Mo. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Brian Davidson

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Joe Girardi typically says his players have the green light to steal bases, but acknowledged some have greener lights than others.

Take Aaron Judge, for example, who has three of the Yankees’ 29 stolen bases, which ranked them second in the AL entering Wednesday night.

“You’re going to pick your spots with him,” Girardi said Wednesday. “I’m not going to turn him as loose as much a Gardy [Brett Gardner] or an Ells [Jacoby Ellsbury].”

Judge, 3-for-4 in stolen base attempts, swiped his third bag Tuesday night against Royals righty Jason Hammel.

“The one thing you worry about is when guys slide head first,” Girardi said. “He’s slid feet-first the last few times, which we like . . . [Tuesday] we had a guy [Hammel] that could be slow to the plate so we took advantage of it.”

Hal worried?

Managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner, speaking Wednesday at the owners’ meetings in Manhattan, said “we’ll see” when asked if he had concerns about Masahiro Tanaka, who is 5-2 but with a 5.80 ERA this season and coming off the worst outing of his career Sunday night.

“One thing about Tanaka is he is a seasoned veteran, and sometimes the seasoned veterans tend to start off a little bit slower,” he said. “CC’s been that way in the past some years. And then they get better and better. I’m not going to say it’s not a concern, what we’ve seen, but he’s a professional, he’s a veteran, been around a lot of years. There’s no complaints of injury, no complaints of anything physical wise, so you got to figure it’s going to come.”

Worthwhile trip

CC Sabathia and Aaron Hicks visited the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum here Wednesday afternoon. Sabathia has been there “a bunch of times,” he said. It was the first visit for Hicks.

“I went about four or five years ago and was amazed. I loved it,” Girardi said. “I think all players should take a look at it. It’s a beautiful museum.”

With David Lennon in New York

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