OAKLAND -- Yankees slugger Aaron Judge had a bat in his hands Monday morning at the Oakland Coliseum, representing progress as he attempts to return from a chip fracture in his right wrist.Judge said he took 25 dry swings (no contact with baseballs) and 25 off a tee in a
OAKLAND -- Yankees slugger Aaron Judge had a bat in his hands Monday morning at the Oakland Coliseum, representing progress as he attempts to return from a chip fracture in his right wrist.
Judge said he took 25 dry swings (no contact with baseballs) and 25 off a tee in a batting cage prior to Monday's game against the Athletics, swinging at close to 100 percent. He reported his wrist felt "great."
"It's definitely a big step. I'm excited," Judge said. "It's kind of on track with what I wanted to accomplish. I'm excited about the progress we're making so far."
Judge has been on the disabled list since July 27 with the injury, the result of being hit by a pitch from the Royals' Jakob Junis.
"It's still broken, so there is some soreness that comes with that, but for the most part I'm feeling great," Judge said. "I'm glad that I'm able to start swinging and then kind of ramp it up here. Hopefully I'll be back on the field in a week or two. We'll see."
Hitting coach Marcus Thames offered a positive assessment of the session, and Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Judge could take batting practice by the weekend. The next steps in a typical progression would be soft-toss, indoor BP, outdoor BP and then facing live pitching.
"We definitely feel like he's starting to build some momentum," Boone said. "For him to get to swing and hit off a tee and [have] it go really well is obviously a great sign. I know he's pleased with it. Today was a very good day, and progress."
Since the Minor League regular season ended Monday, Boone said the Yankees will need to show creativity in finding at-bats for Judge, whom Boone said he envisions returning as the regular right fielder. Simulated games, either with the big league club or at the Minor League complex in Tampa, Fla., are possibilities.
The Yankees' initial estimate for Judge's return was for him to face live pitching three weeks from the point of injury. As he approaches the six-week mark, Judge said it has been difficult to maintain his patience.
"Especially this time of year, down the stretch, being in the hunt for the division," Judge said. "You never want to be sitting out for stuff like that. It's been tough, but we've got a great team. We've got a really good team.
"I've been trying to support them as best I can from the bench and trying to give advice when I can or help out guys when I can. I just can't wait to get back out there and be in the trenches with the guys."
Shortstop Didi Gregorius (left heel contusion) had a light day of workouts Monday at the Coliseum. He will continue to run the bases and take ground balls to test his lateral movement during this series, with an eye toward being activated from the disabled list for the weekend series in Seattle.
"He came in feeling really strong," said Boone, who noted the ball has been jumping off Gregorius' bat nicely. "I would say he's getting very close to a return."
Prior to Monday's game, the Yankees outrighted outfielder Shane Robinson and left-hander Ryan Bollinger to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
This date in Yankees history
Sept. 3, 1995: Tony Fernandez became the 10th Yankees player to hit for the cycle in a 10-9, 10-inning loss to the Athletics. Fernandez completed the cycle with a ninth-inning double, coming around to score the tying run.
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.