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NY Post
New York Post
22 Jul 2023

NextImg:Yankees’ Aaron Judge on track for live batting practice session

Aaron Judge has said he hopes to return soon to a Yankees lineup that sorely misses him, so all eyes will be on the team captain when he takes to the batting cage Sunday approximately two hours before the series finale against the Royals in The Bronx.

Judge remains on track to face rehabbing reliever Jonathan Loaisiga in live batting practice, and manager Aaron Boone said the reigning AL MVP will be “a full go” in taking his hacks after he simply tracked pitches in his previous live batting practice session on July 17.

It will mark the first time Judge will face game-speed pitching since he tore a ligament in his right big toe June 3 in Los Angeles.

Boone said Friday it could be the final step before the Yankees map out a rehab assignment for the five-time All-Star.

Aaron Judge takes batting practice before a game against the Kansas City Royals at Yankee Stadium.
Getty Images

“He’s been hitting a lot, so I don’t expect it to be overly eventful, other than now starting to turn it on against probably as tough a righty as he’s gonna face. So that’d be good,” Boone said Saturday before the Yankees’ 5-2 win over the Royals. “And hopefully that’s kind of a springboard to [Judge] really starting to get a lot of live at-bats against guys.”

Boone expects to have Harrison Bader back in the lineup on Sunday after the center fielder didn’t start for a second straight game.

Bader, who was hit in the ribs by a pitch Wednesday night in Anaheim, entered the game Saturday as a defensive replacement in the eighth inning and singled in his lone plate appearance.

Anthony Rizzo went 1-for-4 and is batting .182 with no home runs since May 20.

He huddled with assistant batting coach Casey Dykes and watched videos for several minutes after the game.

Nestor Cortes [rotator cuff inflammation] will make his first minor league rehab start Sunday for Double-A Somerset at Hartford.

Boone said the lefty is likely to have a pitch count “in the low 40s” over either two or three innings of work.

Boone said Loaisiga (elbow) is “very” close to starting a minor league rehab assignment, likely next weekend if he has no setbacks during live BP sessions Sunday and Wednesday.

Oswaldo Cabrera was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre after the game.