Judge, just a little 'beat up,' getting some spring rest

Warren feels ready for the big time; Wells has another solid day

March 11th, 2024

TAMPA, Fla. -- will take a couple of days off from workouts due to some wear and tear, which Yankees manager Aaron Boone defined as being “mid-spring beat up.”

Judge exited Sunday’s 9-8 Grapefruit League win over the Braves after two at-bats, which Boone said was part of a plan to offer Trent Grisham additional playing time.

With Judge not in either of the Yankees’ split-squad lineups Monday, Boone said he doesn’t expect the star outfielder to play again until Wednesday against the Red Sox.

“He’s a little mid-spring beat up with all the work they do in the cage and the back fields,” Boone said Monday in Clearwater.

After Sunday’s game, Judge said that his early exit had been planned by Boone.

“He talked to me before BP,” Judge said. “He kind of said, ‘Hey, I’ve been meaning to catch you. I’ve got Grish behind you. You cool with two [at-bats]?’ I said, ‘Man, what is it, March 10? I’m good with whatever you’ve got.’”

Boone said that Judge is not having any issues with his right big toe, which cost him two months of last season after he sprained a ligament crashing into a low-lying concrete barrier at Dodger Stadium.

“One thing I think Aaron has gotten really, really good at the last few years is managing the nicks and looking at the minor things that he deals with throughout the year,” Boone said. “He governs and protects himself really well.”

Judge has played in six Grapefruit League games, collecting two hits in 14 at-bats (.143) with one double, one RBI, two walks and three runs scored.

“I just check on him,” Boone said. “I know they sometimes do so much, the stuff you don’t see. Especially your veteran guys, you want to make sure they’re not overdoing it this time of year. At the same time, obviously you’ve got to ramp them up and get them accustomed to bouncing back.”

Ready and willing
Will Warren knocked on the big league door last season, going 7-4 with a 3.61 ERA in 21 games (19 starts) for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The right-hander says that he feels prepared to pitch at the next level.

“I’ve been ready,” Warren said. “Whenever that time comes, hopefully sooner rather than later, I’m ready to do whatever it takes to help the team win.”

Warren pitched three innings of one-run ball in Monday’s 5-3 Grapefruit League win over the Orioles at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa. He scattered three hits while walking three and striking out two.

Bench coach Brad Ausmus, serving as acting manager with Aaron Boone piloting a split squad against the Phillies in Clearwater, said that he would like to see Warren throw more strikes, but his plus stuff helped him out of jams.

“There’s a reason why the organization likes him so much,” Ausmus said. “You see that just by the way their hitters were reacting to his pitches.”

The 24-year-old Warren has held opponents to three runs across 7 2/3 Grapefruit League innings (3.52 ERA) in his first big league camp, though hitters are 9-for-31 (.290) against him.

Catcher Austin Wells, who has played with Warren in the Yankees' farm system, said that he sees signs of improvement from the organization’s No. 8 prospect per MLB Pipeline.

“He definitely has all the tools to be [a big leaguer],” Wells said. “He is a guy with a lot of upside, and someone who is very competitive on the mound. I think that’s what you’re looking for in a pitcher. Regardless of role or where he’s going to be, I think he can definitely help us.”

All’s Wells
Wells had another solid day at the plate, ripping a three-run double off Orioles right-hander Julio Teheran as part of a four-run first inning. Wells also worked a walk, finishing 1-for-2.

“Nailing down my routine on a day-to-day basis has helped me,” said Wells, the Yankees' No. 5 prospect. “I’ve been able to pick up some pitches early, get in advantage counts and get some good pitches to hit. I feel like the last week has been really good progress for me. I’m taking notes off that and continuing to build off that.”