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Wary of fatigue, Yanks sit Sanchez, Judge

Rookie duo has struggled a bit of late for New York
MLB.com @BryanHoch

NEW YORK -- The Yankees have picked up an energy boost from their crop of Baby Bombers, but manager Joe Girardi is discovering that there are limits to how far he will push Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge, and both were out of the lineup for Wednesday's series finale against the Blue Jays. Judge entered as a defensive replacement in the seventh and went 0-for-1 in a 2-0 win.

Sanchez has reached base in 21 consecutive games, but the rookie catcher has cooled after bringing home honors as the American League's Player of the Month and Rookie of the Month for August. Girardi said he believes the 23-year-old is showing signs of becoming run down.

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NEW YORK -- The Yankees have picked up an energy boost from their crop of Baby Bombers, but manager Joe Girardi is discovering that there are limits to how far he will push Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge, and both were out of the lineup for Wednesday's series finale against the Blue Jays. Judge entered as a defensive replacement in the seventh and went 0-for-1 in a 2-0 win.

Sanchez has reached base in 21 consecutive games, but the rookie catcher has cooled after bringing home honors as the American League's Player of the Month and Rookie of the Month for August. Girardi said he believes the 23-year-old is showing signs of becoming run down.

Full Game Coverage

"You see a guy that was really swinging well, and he's starting to miss some pitches. You worry about it," Girardi said. "I can't play him 17 days in a row. I'm just not going to be able to do that, as much as I would love to have him out there 17 days in a row."

Sanchez's last full day off, not including team off-days, came on Aug. 12. He has had five turns at designated hitter over that 22-game span, starting at catcher in the other 17 contests. Over his last eight games, Sanchez is 6-for-31 (.194) with a double and 12 strikeouts.

"I think some of the pitches that he's had, he's missed, whereas he didn't miss any for that two- or three-week period," Girardi said. "I think it's just kind of things correcting themselves. Hitters just don't hit like that forever. Nothing major, just maybe missing a pitch here and there."

Sanchez was also clipped in the left arm by Josh Donaldson's backswing in Tuesday's win over the Blue Jays, but Girardi said that did not factor into the day off.

Video: TOR@NYY: Sanchez gets hit with bat, stays in game

Girardi has stood by Judge as the starting right fielder, despite a historic slump that has seen the 24-year-old strike out at least twice in each of his past nine games. That's the longest such streak since strikeouts were first compiled (1910 in the National League, 1913 in the American League).

General manager Brian Cashman said Judge might not be in the lineup as much if Aaron Hicks wasn't on the 15-day disabled list with a left hamstring strain, but the Yankees remain confident in Judge, who went 1-for-4 with a run scored on Tuesday.

"We still think he's our best option," Girardi said. "I don't expect him to struggle at the rate that he has struggled, so our hope is that we get this ironed out and we start to see better at-bats from him, but only time is going to tell.

"This is a level where you can't make promises, so you don't make any promises. But right now, we still feel that he's going to be our best option."

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat.

 

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez