TAMPA, Fla. — Although New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge will be appearing in his first spring training game Wednesday, the reigning American League home run champion told ESPN on Monday night that he still isn’t feeling 100 percent since his offseason shoulder surgery and that he doesn’t expect to be feeling fully back until Opening Day.
“It’s a work in progress until Opening Day,” Judge said.
The Yankees open the regular season at Toronto on March 29.
The Yankees announced in November that the procedure Judge had in Los Angeles involved a “loose-body removal and cartilage clean-up.” They also anticipated Judge’s recovery time would be complete in advance of the start of spring training.
Judge said when he reported for spring training earlier this month that he was still far from having a complete recovery from the arthroscopic procedure to his left shoulder in late November. As a result, he expected to be slowly brought into full action with the team. He knew before he arrived in Tampa that he’d likely miss five or six games.
His appearance Wednesday against the Tigers will coincide with New York’s sixth game of the spring. Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Judge will hit and play the field in that game.
“I got my timing down and the arm feels good, so I think Wednesday’s the date and I’m looking forward to it,” Judge told reporters Monday afternoon.
As for Judge’s continued recovery, “it’s just about trusting it and trusting how it feels, and making sure I continue to build up my strength,” Judge told ESPN. “It’s about making sure it’s pain-free when I wake up each morning.”
Even if Judge isn’t currently pain-free, he hasn’t appeared to show signs of discomfort during the batting practice sessions he has been part of this spring. On Monday alone, he hit a home run that cleared the batter’s eye behind the center-field fence.
Unofficially, it was one of 10 home runs Judge had on the day.
Mookie Betts goes ‘back to my roots’ at second base, homers in Los Angeles Dodgers’ victory
PHOENIX — Mookie Betts looked right back at home playing his original position on Sunday.
Betts hit a homer in his first game back from the injured list and made a stellar defensive play at second base to help the Los Angeles Dodgers ease past the Arizona Diamondbacks 13-0 to win two of three in the series.
“It was a lot of fun going back to my roots,” said Betts, who usually plays in the outfield. “It was good easing myself back into play.”
With a sore left hip, manager Dave Roberts and Betts thought it wise to let him play second — the position he played when he came up with Boston in 2014 — to reduce the strain.
His hip didn’t seem to be a problem. In the first inning, he took a hit away from Arizona’s Drew Ellis. Playing on the shortstop side of the bag in the shift, Betts went back for a popup like a wide receiver hauling in a pass over his shoulder.
“That catch changed the landscape of the game,” Roberts said.
Betts later turned a double play when playing behind second, running to the base and firing to first to complete it. He’s likely to return to right field on Tuesday when the Dodgers host their 2017 World Series nemesis, the Houston Astros.
All told, Betts, who played one game at second last season for the Dodgers, had two putouts and three assists in the victory.
Trea Turner, acquired from Washington last week, is expected to play second and Max Scherzer is scheduled to start Wednesday in the second of the two-game set. Scherzer joined the team in Arizona on Saturday.
“It’s going to be a fun homestand,” Roberts said.
The Dodgers also play the crosstown rival Los Angeles Angels at Dodger Stadium later this week.
Justin Turner hit his 20th homer with a three-run shot in the seventh and Betts connected off catcher Bryan Holaday, pitching the ninth, for his 15th. Betts was 2 for 5 with a walk and two runs scored.
One run would have been enough for the Dodgers. Julio Urias (13-3) pitched five scoreless innings and three relievers gave up no hits over the last four, capping the four-hit shutout.
A.J. Pollock peppered his former team with four hits, extending his hitting streak to 11 games.
“He’s carrying us right now,” Roberts said of the outfielder, who is batting .526 against Arizona this season over nine games.
Smith (3-8) struggled to find the strike zone for the Diamondbacks, walking five in 1 2/3 innings and throwing 70 pitches. The last pitch was Pujols’ three-run double on a full count. He walked Chris Taylor with the bases loaded to force in the first run.
“I hate walking guys. I’m not going to be able to sleep tonight,” Smith said. “Walks have killed me. I’ve gotta figure it out.”
Manager Torey Lovullo stuck with his starter because he got two outs after loading the bases before walking Taylor, giving up an infield hit to Turner and finally Pujols’ big hit.
“You want to give your starting pitcher a chance to work through those early-inning problems,” Lovullo said. “We needed Caleb to give us 4 or 5 innings. We were trying to get him through.”
Urias finished at 83 pitches, walking none and striking out seven while limiting Arizona to four singles.
To make room for Betts, the Dodgers optioned utility man Zach McKinstry to Triple-A Oklahoma City. Los Angeles also selected the contract of RHP Yefry Ramirez from Oklahoma City and sent RHP Mitch White, Saturday night’s starter, back to the Triple-A team.
The Associated Press contribute to this report.
Kris Bryant joins ex-Chicago Cubs teammates Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez in mashing debut homer
The now San Francisco Giant hit a two-out solo shot in the third inning of a 5-3 win over the Houston Astros. Two days earlier, Rizzo crushed a 449-foot solo home run in his New York Yankees debut while Baez mashed a two-run dinger in his first game with the New York Mets the following day.
The former Cubs became the first trio of ex-teammates in the Modern Era to start the season on the same team, and then homer in their respective debuts with a new team later that season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Acquired in a trade with the Cubs for two minor league prospects just minutes before Friday’s deadline, Bryant was greeted by chants of “KB, KB, KB” when he trotted onto the field for pregame warmups and received a standing ovation before his first at-bat.
The four-time All-Star was cheered again after striking out swinging. Those cheers got louder after Bryant crushed an 0-1 pitch from Luis Garcia (7-6) into the left field stands for his 19th home run this season.
“It’s nice to really feel welcome,” Bryant said before the game. “Barry Bonds was my favorite player. I still have the autograph that my mom went and bought at the mall. Now I’m here. It’s kind of weird.”
It wasn’t a perfect debut for Bryant, who started at third base. His throwing error on Martin Maldonado‘s grounder down the line in the fifth gave the Astros a runner in scoring position with no outs. Logan Webb retired the next three batters to work out of the jam.
“It’s a bat that really lengthens our group and makes our bench better,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said of Bryant. “It makes it more difficult to get through the top of our lineup. He’s going to be good for us.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Alex Cora encouraged as Chris Sale, Kyle Schwarber move steps closer to joining Boston Red Sox
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Boston Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale will make a fifth minor league rehab start later this week for Triple-A Worcester as he moves closer to pitching in the majors for the first time since Aug. 13, 2019.
Sale had Tommy John surgery in March 2020.
“We’ll re-address the situation after that but he’s getting close,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said before Sunday night’s game at Tampa Bay. “We’ll see where it takes us.”
Cora said Sale “felt great” one day after allowing one run over five innings Saturday for Worcester.
The Red Sox had lost four of five entering Sunday, including the first two games of a three-game series with Tampa Bay, that dropped them a half-game behind the AL East-leading Rays.
There is also encouraging news about recently acquired slugger Kyle Schwarber, who is currently out with a hamstring injury. He will take part in an off-day workout Monday in Detroit.
Schwarber will continue doing defensive work at first base where the team hopes he will be able to play at the unfamiliar position. He is nearing a rehab assignment.
“We’ll sit down on Tuesday or Wednesday and see where we’re at,” Cora said. “As far as the progress of the injury, we’re excited. The progress has been great. We’re hoping he goes on a rehab assignment sooner rather than later.”
Boston got Schwarber from Washington for a minor league pitcher last Thursday. He last played on July 2.
Utilityman Marwin Gonzalez (right hamstring strain) will also join the team for Monday’s workout and could be back Tuesday night when the Red Sox open a three-game series with the Tigers.
Right-hander Matt Andriese (right hamstring tendinitis) had a live batting practice session.
Reliever Brandon Workman, designated for assignment last Thursday, was outrighted off the major league roster and elected to become a free agent.
NFL4 days ago
San Francisco 49ers’ Trey Lance signs rookie deal; New York Jets’ Zach Wilson last unsigned top pick
Golf6 days ago
Matt Wallace and Tyrrell Hatton branded ‘a disgrace’ by fellow pro
Soccer5 days ago
Tokyo Olympics 2021, Australia vs Egypt football live, Olyroos vs Egypt, live scores, updates, match report, start time, news
MLB3 days ago
Aaron Boone says Joey Gallo will be with New York Yankees on Friday
MLB6 days ago
Los Angeles Angels manager Joe Maddon says star Shohei Ohtani should win the AL MVP award — ‘It’s not even close’
NFL5 days ago
Deshaun Watson news – Biggest questions, from what’s next for Texans to trade fits and more
MLB5 days ago
Seattle Mariners hire Catie Griggs as president of business operations
Soccer5 days ago
Man Utd have played transfer market by 'walking away from Jadon Sancho deal'