Aaron Judge Expected to Make Return to Yankees Lineup on Saturday, According to Manager Aaron Boone

TAMPA – The New York Yankees are facing multiple injury concerns as they prepare for the upcoming season. Ace pitcher Gerrit Cole is undergoing tests on his throwing elbow with no concrete timeline for his return. Meanwhile, slugger Aaron Judge is hoping to make his return to the lineup on Saturday after dealing with an abdomen issue.

According to Yankees manager Aaron Boone, Judge is “penciled in” to play center field against the Blue Jays in Saturday’s game. Judge has not swung a bat since Sunday and underwent an MRI exam on his abdomen, which came back clean. While Judge and Boone have stated that his early exit from Sunday’s game was planned, his absence from the lineup and recent tests are cause for concern.

Judge expressed confidence that he will be ready for Opening Day on March 28, but he acknowledged that he needs more at-bats to feel comfortable. He typically aims for around 30 spring at-bats to prepare for the regular season. Boone is unsure when Judge will resume hitting but believes he could play on Saturday without additional swings.

In addition to Judge, the Yankees have faced other injury setbacks. Pitcher Clarke Schmidt will start on Friday in Tampa to align him with a regular-season rest schedule. Nestor Cortes, who has been dealing with rotator cuff problems, remains on an every-sixth-day schedule as he continues his recovery.

Pitcher Jonathan Loaisiga is expected to make his Grapefruit League debut on Thursday after pitching in live batting-practice sessions. Meanwhile, Oswaldo Cabrera wore the wrong jersey number but has not officially changed his number.

The Yankees made some roster moves, reassigning righty Duane Underwood Jr. and infielder Josh VanMeter to minor league camp. As the team deals with these injuries and adjustments, they are focused on ensuring the health and readiness of their players for the start of the regular season.

In conclusion, the Yankees are closely monitoring the status of Gerrit Cole and Aaron Judge as they approach the start of the season. They are hopeful that Judge will be back in the lineup on Saturday, but Cole’s return date is uncertain as he undergoes further tests on his elbow. The team is making adjustments and reassignments to their roster to accommodate these injuries and prepare for the upcoming season.