The Yankees have been without Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez since late July and although Sanchez seems to be getting closer to a return, Judge admitted he still is in pain from the chip fracture in his right wrist and he won’t be able to swing until it is gone.
“There’s gonna be discomfort for a while,’’ said Judge, who was examined again by a doctor before Thursday’s 7-3 win over the Rangers in The Bronx. “It’s still fractured. I’ve got to wait ’til that heals up and then move forward with swinging and throwing.”
The right fielder, like Aaron Boone, also declined to put a time frame on when he could be back.“He continues to improve, but he’s not at the point where his range of motion is back to where he doesn’t feel [pain],’’ the manager said. “He’s not picking up a bat yet, but I feel like we are getting close to that point.”
Judge suffered the injury on July 26 when he was hit by a pitch from the Royals’ Jakob Junis. At the time, the Yankees hoped he would be back in roughly three weeks, and Thursday marked the two-week mark. Boone said he doesn’t have an idea of when the right fielder would return to the lineup, though he added he was confident whenever Judge was able to swing, he would be able to play shortly thereafter.
“Once the pain is out of there, then it’s a go,” Boone said. “I believe it’ll move fast from there. He’s been able to lift [weights] and do all his conditioning. We’ve just got to get that point.”
Judge ran the bases Thursday at the Stadium.
Sanchez last played July 23 after suffering a recurrence of the groin injury that also landed him on the disabled list in June. He is expected to continue working at the team’s complex in Tampa until Sunday.
Barring any setbacks, Sanchez should be able to do some work on the field, including catching drills, by Monday.
The absence of the two right-handed sluggers has taken a toll on the lineup, with the Yankees often relying on Shane Robinson in right field and Austin Romine behind the plate. Romine’s added workload has cut into his productivity. He’s in a 10-for-53 funk with four doubles, a walk and 14 strikeouts in his past 16 games.
Robinson, back in right on Thursday, is 1-for-16 with no extra-base hits in his past seven games.
Whether Justus Sheffield becomes a major league option for the Yankees this season remains to be seen, but the lefty added to his résumé with five more scoreless innings for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Thursday. In his past seven starts for SWB, he has a 1.12 ERA in 40 ¹/₃ innings, with 35 strikeouts.
Miguel Andujar was at third base for a second straight game after serving as the DH in consecutive games against the White Sox. That came on the heels of his two errors that helped lead to an awful loss to Boston on Sunday night.
“I know it’s been talked about a lot,’’ Boone said of Andujar’s shaky defense. “He’s had a really good season for us. He’s made tremendous strides, not only at the plate, but in the field.”
Andujar had one of the Yankees’ five homers and now has 16.
Didi Gregorius was back in the lineup after getting Wednesday off in Chicago. In his last 25 games, the shortstop is 30-for-97 with seven doubles, a triple and five homers.
He made an excellent play in the hole to his right on a Jurickson Profar grounder to start the second inning Thursday.
Boone kept Gleyber Torres out of the starting lineup after his cameo at shortstop Wednesday.
Torres’ production has slipped. He is just 3-for-24 with a homer in seven games.
“I feel like he’s starting to find his timing a little bit more,’’ Boone said o the rookie, who returned just over two weeks ago from a strained hip. “He’s bounced back well, run the bases well. Those are all encouraging signs.”
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