April 21st, 2024

Yankees slugger Aaron Judge has RBI double in 1st at-bat in return from abdominal injury

By The Associated Press on March 20, 2024.

New York Yankees center fielder Aaron Judge walks in the dugout before a spring training baseball game against the Atlanta Braves Sunday, March 10, 2024, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) – New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge had an RBI double in his first at-bat in Wednesday night’s game against Pittsburgh after sitting out nine days with an abdominal injury.

Judge hadn’t played since March 10, when he struck out in both at-bats against Atlanta. He had an MRI the following day.

Judge lined an 106.4 mph liner to right center in the first inning off Pirates left-hander Marco Gonzales that drove in Juan Sotto, Judge then scored when Giancarlo Stanton hit a 455-foot homer that cleared the batter’s eye in straightaway center field.

Judge started feeling discomfort with his abdomen during his swing’s follow-through a couple weeks ago.

Judge missed 42 games last season with a torn ligament in his right big toe, an injury sustained when he ran into Dodger Stadium’s right-field fence on June 3. He has said the toe is feeling great.

Third baseman DJ LeMahieu, who fouled a ball hard off his right foot on Saturday, remained out of the lineup with a bone bruise.

“Trying to get the swelling out first and foremost, and doing as much as I can,” LeMahieu said. “I can already tell a difference in three or four days. A lot of improvements.”

LeMahieu said the foot is still sore when he walks, and is undergoing daily treatment. He could resume swinging a bat in a couple days and is hopeful of being ready for the opener on March 28 at Houston.

“I’ve had a good spring training,” LeMahieu said. “I’ve had plenty of at bats. I’m pretty much ready already, so that’s definitely my goal.”

Yankees manager Aaron Boone said the next couple days will determined if LeMahieu will be ready for opening day and added that the infielder will be not be rushed.

LeMahieu was slowed the past couple seasons by a right toe injury.

If LeMahieu is sidelined to start the season, Boone said Alex Verdugo would move into the leadoff spot against right-hander’s and Gleyber Torres will get time when facing left-handed starters. Oswald Cabrera could fill in at third.

New York found out last week that ace Gerrit Cole won’t throw for three to four weeks due to nerve irritation and edema in his throwing elbow. The right-hander will need a spring training-like period after he resumes throwing and is not expected back until late May at the earliest.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

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