Boone gives health updates on Judge, Stanton

March 23rd, 2020

TAMPA, Fla. -- Aaron Boone has swapped his office at George M. Steinbrenner Field for his home in suburban Connecticut, filling what would have been Major League Baseball’s Opening Week with runs to the grocery store and binge-watches on Netflix. But the Yankees manager has not completely unplugged from his duties, as Gerrit and Amy Cole learned this past weekend.

Boone paid a visit to his ace right-hander’s new home on Sunday afternoon, pulling out his smartphone to record the couple whipping throws to each other in the front yard.

“I had to do something, so I figured I’d film them,” Boone told the YES Network’s Meredith Marakovits on Monday. “They’re a pretty athletic duo, going at it there on the front lawn.”

In addition to the occasional "house call," Boone said that he speaks regularly with general manager Brian Cashman and assistant general manager Jean Afterman for updates on what is going on at Steinbrenner Field, where several players are continuing to rehab and work out.

Hitting coach Marcus Thames and head athletic trainer Tim Lentych remain on site, working with a group of players that has included Mike Ford, Clint Frazier, Aaron Judge, DJ LeMahieu, Luis Severino, Giancarlo Stanton, Luke Voit and Tyler Wade. Pitching coach Matt Blake and bullpen coach Mike Harkey are keeping in touch with the off-site pitchers, monitoring their individual workloads.

Judge revealed on Friday that in addition to a stress fracture in his right rib, the outfielder was dealing with a pneumothorax, or a collapsed lung. Judge will have another CT scan in two weeks to evaluate the healing of his rib, and the lung issue is thought to be resolved.

“It’s just making sure that was healed, because that’s when you have the concerns of flying,” Boone said. “He’s healed in that regard and hopefully now, obviously again this is hopefully a time where he can get that proper rest to allow that rib to heal properly. Hopefully when it’s time to play ball again, Aaron is with us.”

Stanton is continuing to recover from a Grade 1 strain of his right calf, and had Opening Day not been delayed, the Yankees would have expected the slugger to return early in the season.

“G is doing great,” Boone said. “If we were to start Spring Training games up tomorrow, he’d probably be ready to go. He’s been doing really well, hitting now for a few weeks, but running pretty much at full speed outside and changing directions -- doing pretty much all the things necessary to get into a game. He’s doing good and that’s the one silver lining, it’s a chance for guys to get healed up.”

Boone said that he has received encouraging updates regarding the Minor League side of camp, where two players tested positive for the COVID-19 virus about a week ago. All Minor League players will remain under self-quarantine at their apartments or hotels until Wednesday, when they will be encouraged to return home, if possible.

“Everyone is doing well,” Boone said. “Those guys are recovered. I know Cash and [senior director of player development] Kevin Reese are being really vigilant about taking care of those guys, trying to keep those guys’ spirits up as much as possible in a difficult situation. By all accounts, it sounds like everything is going pretty well for them down there.”

The original Spring Training schedule would have had the Yankees in Montreal this week for two exhibition games against the Blue Jays before they were to open the regular season on Thursday in Baltimore.

“We’re all bummed, especially with Opening Day coming up,” Boone said. “We’re getting close to that point, and all that goes into that, to have that pulled out from under you is difficult. We also understand this is way bigger than baseball, it’s bigger than all of us. It’s incumbent on all of us to do our part right now and try to get baseball back to us sooner rather than later.”