Aaron Judge takes batting practice, nearing return, but no specific timetable set

Aaron Judge - The captain of the New York Yankees
Amanda Paula
Tuesday July 18, 2023

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In a recent update from Bryan Hoch of MLB.com, it has been reported that Aaron Judge, the talented outfielder for the New York Yankees, is engaging in on-field batting practice at Angel Stadium. This development has sparked anticipation among fans and baseball enthusiasts, as Judge’s return to the Major League Baseball (MLB) appears to be imminent.

Aaron Judge’s return to the Yankees

 Aaron Judge smiles during batting practice as Yankee manager Aaron Boone stands by prior to a game against the Los Angeles Angels Tuesday, July 18, 2023.

However, while speaking about Judge’s progress, Yankees manager Aaron Boone expressed caution and refrained from providing a specific timeline for his return.

‘I don’t know when he gets to that point to where, now we’re ready to play. I do feel like the things he’s able to do now are kind of putting him in that “close.” Boone said Tuesday before New York’s game against the Los Angeles Angels.

‘But whether that’s days from now or weeks from now, I can’t answer it, because we gotta get through those final hurdles where he can really do things that allow him to play in the major leagues.’

Judge once again participated in batting practice for the fourth time in the last five days and also engaged in some light defensive work in right field. The one day he did not participate the Yankees did not have batting practice.

He has also been able to partake in light jogging but is yet to run at full speed or make complicated movements. Boone indicated this would be the next phase of the recovery process for last season’s American League MVP.

Aaron Judge smiling during a Yankees' game in MLB.

‘And then also being able to be at a really high level in the box. It’s one thing to be taking [batting practice] and getting your swing off. It’s another thing to be in a game and taking a difficult pitch and holding a check swing – all those things you need to be in a real comfortable spot to do.’

It also remains to be seen if Judge will be sent on a rehab assignment before being cleared to come off the IL, although Boone did indicate that Judge would be a big part of those conversations.

Aaron Judge - the Yankees superstar.

Boone also mentioned that whenever Judge does eventually return, he would most likely play more games than normal as a designated hitter, which would be a way to protect his toe as he works his way back into game shape.

This ambiguity leaves fans and analysts speculating about whether Judge’s return will occur in a matter of days or extend into weeks. Nevertheless, the fact that Judge is participating in batting practice signifies a significant step forward in his recovery process.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

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