NEW YORK -- On at least two occasions, the Yankees have discussed sending Aaron Judge for a cortisone injection to address his troublesome left shoulder, but they remain hopeful that a few days off will calm the issues that have dented the rookie slugger's second-half performance.Judge returned to action as
NEW YORK -- On at least two occasions, the Yankees have discussed sending Aaron Judge for a cortisone injection to address his troublesome left shoulder, but they remain hopeful that a few days off will calm the issues that have dented the rookie slugger's second-half performance.
Judge returned to action as a ninth-inning pinch-hitter in the first game of Wednesday's doubleheader, striking out against closer Cody Allen to seal the Yanks' 2-1 loss to the Indians. He went 1-for-3 with a run scored, walk and strikeout in New York's 9-4 loss in the nightcap.
"I felt good in the box," Judge said. "I felt like I was swinging at the right pitches. Like I've talked about all year, if I'm swinging at the right pitches, taking my walks, I feel like I'm in a good place to hit. I've just got to build off that and take it into tomorrow."
Having last played on Sunday, Judge revealed earlier on Wednesday that the Yankees had discussed sending him for an MRI or cortisone injection in the shoulder, on which he has regularly been receiving treatment. Judge said that, for the time being, he is satisfied to continue ice therapy.
"You can go around this whole clubhouse and ask; they're all beat up," Judge said. "Everyone's kind of beat up. We've been playing every day since April. Getting a day off here doesn't hurt."
Judge still leads the American League with 37 homers, 98 runs scored, a .578 slugging percentage and 97 walks, but has hit .182 (27-for-148) with seven homers and 16 RBIs since the All-Star break.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he believes Judge is dealing with the cumulative effect of playing almost every day while diving for balls and running into walls.
"I can't really pinpoint what it is," Judge said. "There have been quite a few falls that I've had. It's just part of the season. Everyone goes through this. They have their bumps and bruises. I'm just trying to get healthy. I feel good now."
As they prepare for a key four-game showdown with the Red Sox, the Yankees would welcome the reappearance of Judge's first-half thunder.
"We've just got to go back to what we did in the first half, where everybody was having quality at-bats," Judge said. "Taking everything one pitch at a time and trying to win that pitch. When we do that as a team collectively, good things happen."
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.