Judge was absent for two games this week with soreness in his left side, an issue Boone hesitated to characterize as an injury. Urshela missed Friday’s 10-5 loss to Tampa Bay due to lingering effects from a COVID-19 vaccination, which numerous Yankees players and coaches received on Wednesday at Yankee Stadium.
“It’s just always good to write [Judge’s] name in there,” Boone said. “I’m just trying to be cautious here with him early, not wanting this to become something that does become an issue. Hopefully we’re able to get past that and through that in these days ahead.”
Judge homered in the last two games of New York's homestand against the Orioles, including a 3-for-5, four-RBI performance on Tuesday during which he launched a long three-run homer. Judge finished 1-for-4 with a 112.9 mph single during Saturday's 4-0 loss to the Rays at Tropicana Field. Urshela was hitless in three at-bats and was charged with a fielding error in the fifth, but redeemed himself with a snazzy stop in the same frame.
After taking batting practice before Friday’s game at Tropicana Field, Judge told Boone that he felt good enough to play, according to Boone. The manager replied that he wanted to hold Judge back one additional day.
“It’s a lot of conversation, a lot of evaluation from the strength and conditioning to training staff, to conversations he and I have,” Boone said. “I would say if they were playoff games, he probably would have been in the lineup.”
Boone said he was not surprised that Urshela returned so quickly from the COVID-19 injured list.
“We kind of expected this,” Boone said. “He was a little under the weather along with a couple of other guys on [Thursday’s] off-day. By the end of the game yesterday, he was feeling himself again and then [Friday] night felt good. I just saw a smiling face; he walked by my office about 30 minutes ago with a thumbs-up, so I feel like he’s out of the woods and ready to go.”
“He’s part of the infield mix. I expect him to probably be in the lineup potentially a couple of days a week,” Boone said.
In a corresponding move, New York optioned infielder Tyler Wade to its alternate site. Wade will remain with the big league club during this road trip as a member of the taxi squad.
“We spoke about it for about five or 10 minutes,” Boone said. “I reiterated to him that I still think he’s going to play a big, big role on this team moving forward.”
Wade’s departure means Urshela is now in line as the primary backup to shortstop Gleyber Torres. Urshela started one game at shortstop during Spring Training and has said he feels comfortable there.
“I don’t worry about Gio out there,” Boone said. “He’s going to catch it if you hit it to him.”
Sigh of relief
Justin Wilson feared the worst when he walked off the field with tightness in his left shoulder following his final appearance of Spring Training, and the left-handed reliever is thankful that time appears to have done the trick in helping the issue calm down.
“It was huge,” Wilson said. “It just felt irritated, and I didn’t think there was anything wrong with it. I could still throw, it just didn’t feel right. So I didn’t think the MRI was going to be bad. It was probably just a little irritation, and it feels good now.”
Wilson was activated from the injured list on Friday, and he struck out two in a scoreless inning of work on Saturday. He said that he has been impressed by his fellow relievers through seven games.
“There’s a lot of good arms, especially the younger portion of our bullpen,” Wilson said. “There’s some electric stuff coming out there. It seems like they’re calm and they go about their business the correct way, so it’s impressive. I’m excited to be out there with them and go to work.”
This date in Yankees history
April 10, 2015: The Yankees played the longest home game in franchise history at six hours and 49 minutes, not including a 19-minute rain delay. New York fell to the Red Sox, 6-5, in 19 innings.