NEW YORK -- One night after being removed for a pinch-hitter, Aaron Judge was not in the Yankees’ lineup on Wednesday as the slugger receives treatment for “lower body tightness,” manager Aaron Boone said.
Judge was lifted in favor of Mike Tauchman during the sixth inning of Tuesday’s 9-6 victory over the Braves. Boone said that Judge is dealing with the effects of playing four games on the artificial turf at Tropicana Field this past weekend.
“It's something that I've tried to be mindful of and aware of,” Boone said. “Judge is a guy that always wants to post. He always wants to play, even when he's playing through things.”
Boone said that Judge tried to talk his way into the lineup on Wednesday, but Boone factored Thursday’s off-day into his decision, as well as an upcoming series against the division-rival Red Sox.
Asked to elaborate on Judge’s problem areas, Boone mentioned his hips, calves and hamstrings.
“It's kind of all over the lower body where he's dealing with some rigor,” Boone said. “The hips and down into the hamstrings and calves. I think it's a result of the four games’ pounding in three days down in Tampa.”
Sidelined in February and March due to what was eventually revealed to be a right rib fracture and a collapsed lung, stemming from a September 2019 dive in the Yankee Stadium outfield, Judge’s improved health has been thought to be a major component in his early-season success.
Judge leads the Majors in homers (nine) and slugging percentage (.758), and he's tied with the Rockies’ Charlie Blackmon for the lead in RBIs (20). Judge has appeared in all 17 of the Yankees’ games entering play on Wednesday, batting .290/.343/.758 with a 201 OPS+.
Boone was asked if he believes that Judge will be able to return to the Yankees’ lineup on Friday, when the club opens a weekend series with Boston.
“I hope so,” Boone said. “But in a lot of ways, that’s a long way from now. So let's just kind of get through [Wednesday]. Obviously, [Thursday] will be valuable in being able to just treat it and get some rest. We'll see where we're at.”