SARASOTA, Fla. — Aaron Judge went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts on Wednesday to drop his spring training average to .174 in the Yankees’ 7-4 loss to the Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium.
The reigning AL Rookie of the Year isn’t concerned about the numbers, though. Judge said his surgically repaired left shoulder feels healthy, which wasn’t the case when he began spring training.
“It feels great,” Judge said. “That’s probably been the biggest thing that I’ve been happy about is no setbacks with that. Everything has been right on track. It’s all good.”
Judge had arthroscopic surgery on Nov. 20, a procedure that involved a loose-body removal and cartilage clean-up. The Yankees have brought him along slowly in spring training. Judge will DH on Thursday, the first time he’s played in three consecutive games.
“You never know how it’s going to respond when you start getting back in games and going 100 percent,” Judge said. “So I came down here to start camp and there was still some soreness in there. Still a little question mark. But once I started playing in games and all the work I’ve been doing with [trainer] Steve [Donohue] and the training staff, we’re right on track. Not feeling anything now. I’m happy about that.”
The Yankees open the season on March 29 in Toronto. Judge said that’s enough time to get his swing down.
“What’s the date today?” he said. “Two weeks. Perfect.”
First at-bats for Walker
Neil Walker went 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and played six innings in a minor-league intrasquad game in Tampa.
Walker, a second baseman by trade, played four innings at third base and two innings at first in his first game action of spring training. The Yankees signed the former Met on Monday to a one-year, $4-million contract.
Walker is expected to make his spring training debut on Friday.
The Yankees released first baseman/outfielder Adam Lind from his minor-league contract.
Lind was signed on March 2 in a move that made little sense at the time. With Greg Bird at first base and five veteran outfielders, the Yankees had no room for Lind, a lefthanded hitter. Lind had three hits in 15 spring training at-bats.
Clint Frazier (concussion) is improving and will be re-examined by a neurologist on Thursday, manager Aaron Boone said.