NEW YORK -- Prior to Monday's series opener against the White Sox, Aaron Judge got some work in right field, as manager Aaron Boone said the team is gradually trying to introduce more "baseball-type activities" to the injured outfielder as he continues to improve.
"I'm not sure all that they did today, but I think just as we slowly start to introduce some things, slowly see what things he can tolerate," Boone said. "Feels like hopefully he's improving a little bit."
Judge (right wrist fracture) was able to do some light work in the outfield that included catching balls that were tossed to his right and left, but Boone said Judge has yet to start throwing at full strength. Although he was seen with a Wiffle bat in his hands, Boone said Judge has yet to take any swings with a real bat.
"I'm sure he can hold the bat," Boone said. "He can do a lot of things because, through all this, he's been able to do his upper body training, his upper body work; we just haven't gone to the next level of really starting to swing the bat yet. Because of the way he rotates, we've got to get to that point where, because of the fracture, it gets to that end point and [the pain is] nonexistent anymore. And that's been trending in the right direction, but it's been something that's moved kind of slowly."
While Judge's progression has moved much slower than the team originally expected, the pace has been quite the opposite for shortstop Didi Gregorius, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list Aug. 21 (retroactive to Aug. 20) with a bruised left heel. After a visit with the Yankees' team doctor Monday, Gregorius said everything is progressing as it should and he's hoping to be back "sooner than later."
Gregorius has yet to be told when he can start running or whether he will need to go on a rehab assignment, but the shortstop said he feels as though he could "probably" come straight back to his team and is encouraged by the pace of his recovery.
"Yeah, it's getting better one step at a time," Gregorius said. "It's making better improvements, so that's what I want."
Prior to hearing the report from the doctor, Boone said he'd possibly consider playing Gregorius before he's 100 percent, as long as the pain is tolerable.
"We'll see what the doctor says," Boone said. "We'd have to feel like that he's safe going out there and can move around like he needs to to be Didi Gregorius. But again, I'll wait for the doctor to get with him tonight and then kind of see where we're at tomorrow as far as progression."
Gary Sanchez is expected to start behind the plate for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Monday night after going 0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored Saturday in his first Minor League rehab game for the Gulf Coast League Yankees. Boone said that although Sanchez's conditioning wasn't a concern prior to the injury, he thinks the backstop is in the best physical shape he's been all year.
MILB Video - Title: Watch: Sanchez homers in rehab game - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=2434567183
"In just watching him move, watching him, in the days leading up to him leaving us, run, watching him swing the bat, his defensive drills, I just feel like he's in a really good place physically," Boone said. "And I know he's worked really hard to get to that point. I don't know if necessarily before it was down or whatever, but I would say he's in a really good place right now physically."
Minor League signing
The Yankees signed outfielder Quintin Berry to a Minor League contract and assigned him to Triple-A on Monday. Berry, 33, was a free agent who has played for the Tigers, Red Sox, Orioles, Cubs and, most recently, the Brewers over five years in the Majors.
Berry played in 94 games for the Tigers in 2012, but has not played more than 13 contests in a season since. This year, Berry played in 42 games for Milwaukee's Triple-A affiliate, where he hit .214 with two home runs and 11 RBIs.
This date in Yankees history
Aug. 27, 1938: The Yankees played their fourth doubleheader in as many days, sweeping Cleveland, 8-7 and 13-0. Joe DiMaggio hit three triples in the first game, while Monte Pearson threw a no-hitter in the second.