Judge could be ready to hit during Red Sox set

September 16th, 2018

NEW YORK -- The gap between the top teams in the American League East may be larger than the Yankees would like, but 's potential return to the lineup promises to add some spice to the upcoming series with the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium.

Judge was activated from the 10-day disabled list earlier this week, but he has not been cleared to bat. He played two innings in right field on Friday against the Blue Jays, and manager Aaron Boone said that Judge could be viewed as a complete player before the Boston series concludes.

"I would say it's a possibility," Boone said. "I don't think we're there. That's potentially in the timeline, but I wouldn't say we're there to make that call yet. I'd say around that time, he could be close. I would think by some point on this homestand, assuming everything continues to progress, he should be active."

Judge has been taking on-field batting practice for five days, and Boone said on Sunday that Judge will remain with the club through his rehab, bypassing a trip to the player-development complex in Tampa, Fla. Judge said he hit off a high-velocity pitching machine prior to Sunday's game.

"I've been feeling good for a while," Judge said after the Yankees' 3-2 loss to the Blue Jays on Sunday. "I've just got to go through the progression, and once we do that, I'll be back on the field."

Boone said that he believes the slugger could see a decent amount of playing time over the final two weeks of the regular season, estimating that Judge could get 30 or 40 at-bats to fine-tune his timing. In the meantime, Judge has continued to serve as a cheerleader while his team has gone on an 8-11 slide to fall 11 1/2 games behind the first-place Red Sox in the AL East.

"Every team goes through it," Judge said. "... Right now you don't want to go through it, especially when it's late like this, but we've still got plenty of baseball left to get hot. It's all about what team is hot. If we can get hot here in the last two weeks and take that into the playoffs, we're going to be in a good position."

Comeback trail

(left knee tendinitis) remains on schedule to pitch in a simulated game on Monday or Tuesday at Yankee Stadium, Boone said. Assuming it goes well, Chapman would then be activated from the disabled list.

This date in Yankees history

Sept. 16, 2008: Derek Jeter knocked a first-inning single off Gavin Floyd of the White Sox. It was Jeter's 1,270th career hit at the original Yankee Stadium, surpassing Lou Gehrig for the most all-time hits at the facility.