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Yankees slugger Aaron Judge invited to Home Run Derby, but unsure if he'll participate

Aaron Judge , hitting a  two-run homer at Yankee

Aaron Judge , hitting a  two-run homer at Yankee Stadium on Sunday, June 11, 2017, said he's been thinking about [the home run derby] for a while. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Unless he’s injured, Aaron Judge will be in Miami representing the Yankees at the All-Star Game on July 11.

But will the major league’s leading home run hitter participate in the Home Run Derby the night before? Judge has officially been invited, and no doubt ESPN is hoping the AL’s top vote-getter in All-Star balloting will take some mighty swings in the made-for-TV event.

Judge, though, said he’s still mulling over whether to do the derby. “I haven’t decided yet,” said Judge, who hit his 24th home run in the fifth inning Tuesday night against the Angels. “Been thinking about it for a while.”

Judge said he has enjoyed watching the Home Run Derby and has imagined himself as one of the sluggers. “I’ve thought about it,” he said. “But I never really dreamed that it would actually happen. So it’s pretty surreal.”

Judge continued to lead the AL in All-Star votes in totals released Tuesday. He has received 2,631,284, second in baseball only to Bryce Harper of the Nationals (2,827,330).

Starlin Castro (2B) and Matt Holliday (DH) are second in the vote at their positions. Shortstop Didi Gregorius is third at his.

Sticking with Carter

Chris Carter went 0-for-3 with a strikeout to drop his average to .201. He was pinch hit for in the ninth inning by Austin Romine. Carter also committed a two-base error in the second inning that led to two runs. Asked after the Yankees’ 8-3 loss if Carter was still his first baseman, Joe Giardi said: “Yeah. It’s what we have.”

Trainer’s room

Aaron Hicks (Achilles strain) returned to the lineup after a three-game absence. Jacoby Ellsbury (concussion) has been cleared to take BP for the first time Wednesday. He has been out since May 24. Ellsbury would need to have a minor-league rehab stint before he is activated.


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