A day after Aaron Judge was placed on the 10-day injured list with a right calf strain, manager Aaron Boone said he could begin baseball activities as soon as Monday, which would be good news for the Yankees and their right fielder.
Judge was removed from Tuesday night’s game against the Braves in the sixth inning and wasn’t in the lineup Wednesday evening because of what the team called lower body tightness.
On Thursday, he was diagnosed with a grade 1 right calf strain.
Boone said Saturday that Judge would spend the weekend getting treatment and “some lower body workouts in the weight room, as well as other rehab drills.”
If that goes well, baseball activities could be introduced Monday.
“He’s feeling pretty good,’’ Boone said. “We’re hoping this goes well and [he’s out] a short amount of time.”
Clint Frazier started in right field Saturday against the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium, with Mike Tauchman in left, as the Yankees continue without Judge and Giancarlo Stanton.
Tauchman’s stellar performance has helped the Yankees make up for the loss of both sluggers.
“He was such a good, important player for us last year and he’s taking advantage of his opportunities this year, as well,’’ Boone said. “He’s gotten a lot of big hits for us. He knows the strike zone. The defensive element and baserunning [are also important]. He’s a really well-rounded player we’ve seen come into his own the last 12 months.”
Tauchman drove in four runs Friday and over his previous 11 games, heading into Saturday, was 12-for-20 with six runs, four doubles, seven RBIs, three walks and four stolen bases.
Aroldis Chapman threw a simulated game at the Yankees’ alternate site in Scranton on Friday, and Boone said “it went well. He looked good.”
Good enough that the Yankees will discuss when to bring back their closer — and it shouldn’t be far off.
“We feel like he’s ready to go or at least close, so we’ll have those conversations now over the next day or two [to see] what the next step is. We feel like he’s about ready.”
Zack Britton has filled in for Chapman, who is coming back from COVID-19.
Chapman has been on the COVID-19 IL since the season began. He tested negative for the coronavirus during the intake program but positive afterward.
Miguel Andujar is at the Yankees’ alternate site, but he’s not an afterthought to those in The Bronx. Hitting coach Marcus Thames said Saturday that he spoke to the third baseman on Friday and told him to keep his spirits up despite being disappointed about being sent down.
“Miggy basically missed the whole year last year and this year just didn’t get enough at-bats,’’ Thames said. “He’s still a really good hitter. We believe that, he’s shown that. He’s just got to get the chance to play.”
And Thames thinks that’s more a product of the talent on the roster than an indictment of Andujar’s ability.
“We’ve got a really good team and got a lot of good players,’’ Thames said. “He’s gonna help us at some point this year.”
Thames added Andujar’s work has been good.
“When you get sent down, it’s a hard thing,’’ Thames said. “You can take it two ways: You can go down there and work or you can go down there and pout and stay in a rut. He’s working on both sides of the ball.”
Boone said though he paid attention to the Reds being the latest team to be impacted by COVID-19, having a third team affected won’t change anything the Yankees are doing to stay on the field.
“Of course I notice it and am aware of it and understand the fragility of all of this, but as far as changing anything or putting any type of fear [in us] no, our job is clear,’’ Boone said. “We understand the way we live and exist in this season in this world and how to go about it and continue to do all we can to avoid those things and put ourselves in the safest situations we possibly can. Hopefully that will be good enough to complete the season.”