TAMPA — Aaron Judge will make his spring training debut in about a week.
At least that’s the tentative plan, according to Aaron Boone. The Yankees are currently bringing Judge back slowly after he underwent offseason surgery on his left shoulder.
The 25-year-old AL Rookie of the Year winner is perfectly fine with that plan, as his goal is to be ready for Opening Day.
“I would say we’re tentatively looking at probably about a week,” Boone said Wednesday. “But again, it’s fluid and one of those things we’re communicating every day. I think he’s in a really good place physically. And in a lot of ways he’s raring to go, but we’re going to be real cautious and slow-play it a bit.”
Brett Gardner and Gary Sanchez also probably won’t play in Friday’s spring opener, though neither absence is injury-related. The Bombers want to take it slow with the veteran Gardner and their catcher Sanchez.
The first four starters of the spring will be Luis Cessa (Friday), Domingo German (Saturday), Jordan Montgomery (Sunday) and Sonny Gray (Monday). Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka and CC Sabathia will all take their first turns at some point at after that. Adam Warren will piggyback during a road game over the weekend.
Dominant middle reliever Chad Green is being stretched out as a starter just in case, but there are no plans for him to pitch in any of the first four games, Boone said. Sim games will be used to keep everyone with regular work.
ANDUJAR STAYING POSITIVE
Despite the addition of Brandon Drury at third, Miguel Andujar isn’t changing his mindset this spring.
“We’ve got to welcome him here in the clubhouse. That (trade) doesn’t change anything to me,” Andujar said through a translator. “I’ve got to keep working hard. That’s my focus, so the addition of another teammate doesn’t change my plans.”
The Yankees prepare for the 2018 season at spring training
Defense remains an area of focus.
“That’s the plan to become more consistent defensively, and also offensively. You want to all aspects of your game to be consistent,” Andujar said. “That’s my plan. That’s my goal.”
… The Yankees will be among the teams that will wear special hats during spring games to honor the victims of the recent Florida school shooting, the team confirmed.