No one doubts Aaron Judge’s talent, but the Yankees slugger is already dealing with a shoulder issue down at spring training.
Tuesday is only the second day of spring training for position players around baseball, so it’s concerning to see players limited with physical issues, even if out of an abundance of caution. On that note, New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge is reportedly being held out of batting practice on Tuesday due to what’s being called “maintenance” on his right shoulder.
Judge was apparently doing everything else on the field Tuesday, so the shoulder problem is not being regarded as too serious.
It’s cause for concern with Judge, however, because he has missed significant time due to injury in each of the last two seasons. A fractured bone in his right wrist after being hit by a pitch in 2018 and an oblique strain last year limited Judge 112 and 102 games respectively the past two seasons.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone told the media on Tuesday that Judge’s latest shoulder issue began a couple weeks ago.
After hitting 52 home runs as as a rookie in 2017 (a home run every 10.4 at-bats), Judge has 54 home runs over the last two season (a still very good 14.6 at-bats per home run). His ability is clear, it’s just been a question of availability lately. And because it’s Judge and the Yankees, news regarding any injury-related absence right now is going to garner attention from the assembled masses in Tampa.
ESPN’s Marly Rivera provided video of Judge doing outfield drills with his teammates on Tuesday morning. He has apparently been taking one-handed swings in the batting cage, which further advances the idea the shoulder is not a major concern right now and having him sit out more formal batting practice is a measure of caution and maintenance.
Having Judge available without limitations on Opening Day, not the second day of spring training, is the priority for the Yankees. But another injury, however minor it’s being professed to be at this point, is automatic cause for concern until further notice.