Dustin Fowler #34 of the New York Yankees dives into the stands trying to catch a foul ball hit by Jose Abreu (not Pictured) of the Chicago White Sox. Fowler had to leave the game and was taken off the field on a cart, on June 29, 2017 at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago, Illinois.
“I was out of the dugout right away,” Girardi said. “I’ve seen what happens when you hit half walls. And I know it’s the way the stadium is designed. But I think it’s something baseball needs to address. Maybe you put up plexiglass so they don’t flip over and people can look through it. They look through it in hockey.”
Fowler ruptured the patella tendon in his right knee trying to track down Jose Abreu’s first-inning fly ball. He hit the wall, appeared to get his feet stuck beneath its padding and then his right knee slammed an exposed metal utility box.
Need more heartache? It happened on Fowler’s first defensive opportunity. It happened in his first major-league game. It happened before he was set to lead off the next inning for his first big-league at-bat.
Top Yankees outfield prospect Dustin Fowler had to be carted off the field in the first inning of his first major-league game Thursday night
Fowler needed immediate surgery. He was taken to the nearby Rush University Medical Center and the White Sox’s team physician performed the procedure. Doctors were worried about infection because Fowler had an open wound, Girardi said.
The manager cited an incident two years ago at Tropicana Field. Then-right fielder Carlos Beltran tumbled over the wall and he needed MRIs on three separate aching parts of his body.
“To me, it’s something that needs to be corrected, shortening walls,” Girardi said. “And that wasn’t the problem on that. There’s an electrical box it appears to me that — the knee wall is about halfway up under his knee and then he hit the electrical box, is what he hit. It sits this far back from the fence. To me, that’s a problem.
Girardi added, “I’m not blaming the White Sox, but it needs to be something that’s inspected. It should have been padded or not put there or put lower because if the kid doesn’t hit the electrical box, he might still be hurt, but my guess is he doesn’t rupture his patella tendon.”
The Yankees are expected to recall Andujar from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Wednesday, Craig Mish of SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio reports.
After Tyler Wade received the call to the big leagues Tuesday, It appears the Yankees will bring aboard their second infield prospect in as many days, as Andujar could assume the 25-man roster spot of Matt Holliday, who has been battling an allergic reaction recently. Though the Yankees haven’t received much production this season from third basemen Chase Headley and Ronald Torreyes, Headley has delivered two three-hit performances in his last three contests, so his hold on the starting job seems secure at the moment. As a result, Andujar, who has hit .312/.342/.494 with seven home runs at Triple-A this season, may only serve as bench depth in his first tour of the majors.
RailRiders blast four home runs in 11-1 rout of PawSox Thursday night
By SWB Rail Riders
Moosic, Pa. – The SWB RailRiders (Triple-A/ New York Yankees) steamrolled the Pawtucket Red Sox 11-1 on Thursday night at PNC Field, blasting four homers in the rout.
The RailRiders (44-28) have won six straight against the PawSox (34-36). Pawtucket has lost seven in a row.
Chance Adams (5-2) tossed a dominant six innings, holding Pawtucket to a pair of walks through the first five innings. A leadoff double by Dan Butler broke up his no-hit bid in the sixth. Adams fanned eight.
The RailRiders plated 10 runs on 11 hits against PawSox starter Kyle Kendrick (2-4). The right-hander surrendered four home runs over his five innings of work. Tyler Austin highlighted a seven-run second inning by doubling home three runs with a line drive to the left-field corner. He later homered for the third straight game on a towering shot to right-center in the fourth.
Ji-Man Choi and Jake Cave both went deep in the second stanza barrage. Cito Culvered clubbed his seventh of the year onto the batters’ eye grass berm in the fifth. Mark Payton capped a three-hit night by plating Cave on a double to left in the seventh.
The 2016 Gildan Triple-A National Champion RailRiders continue their series with the Pawtucket Red Sox (Boston Red Sox) on Friday, June 23. First pitch at PNC Field is set for 7:05 p.m. The RailRiders will start left-hander Caleb Smith (5-0, 2.44) against southpaw Henry Owens (4-4, 3.60).
The Legends Series, presented by Maines, continues with a special appearance by 11-time All-Star and seven-time Cy Young winner Roger Clemens.
At 6-7, 280 pounds, the Yanks’ Aaron Judge is becoming the biggest thing in baseball. Wochit
On any given afternoon during a Yankees homestand, there’s a good chance you’ll find a young, handsome, 6-7 athlete walking the streets of midtown Manhattan. The international tourists might not recognize him (yet) but most everyone else in the neighborhood certainly does by now. “Look, it’s him,” is a familiar whisper Aaron Judge hears more and more these days.
But the Yankees slugger doesn’t hide behind a security detail. He doesn’t hide, period, smiling and enjoying a burgeoning urban life in New York. Judge lives in an Art Deco Hotel near Times Square and, for a kid who grew in a small town in northern California, is making a seamless transition to the big city.
“It’s exciting, I love this,” Judge was saying the other day. “It’s definitely different from what I knew back home, but here you can get any food you want at any hour. I love the city.”
The feeling goes both ways, particularly among Yankees fans who see Judge as the franchise’s next superstar. He’s leading major leagues in home runs, is already a can’t-miss for the American League’s Rookie of the Year award and possibly its Most Valuable Player too. Modell’s can’t keep his replica jersey in stock.
The instant celebrity hasn’t overwhelmed him however. Even though Judge could easily plunge into the city’s bottomless nightlife, he doesn’t go out after Yankees games. He avoids bars and clubs and keeps his Twitter account G-rated. Judge has no interest in taking over the town the way, say Doc Gooden and Darryl Strawberry did back in the day, or as Matt Harvey tried – and failed – four years ago.
No, Judge is a sweet, bi-racial homebody who was adopted at birth by two middle-aged educators in Linden, California. To this day, he remains loyal to those roots. He calls his parents, Wayne and Patty, every day. He sent flowers on Mother’s Day. And at the conclusion of the Yankees’ last road trip to the west coast, Judge got a care package from his mom to take back to New York: a batch of chocolate chip cookies.
Throughout his upbringing, Judge was taught to respect those around him. Those traits are still with the slugger today. Judge offers a handshake upon first meeting, looks you in the eye, sprinkles his conversation with “please” and “thank you.” He’s made it a point of remembering reporters’ names and addresses them individually, by name, during interviews.
Bob Amerman, Judge’s high school coach, said, “the kind of person Aaron is now, that’s exactly who he was in high school. He hasn’t changed.” When the Yankees were in Oakland last week, Amerman was part of a large contingent that made the drive to see the hometown supernova.
But Amerman went one step further, spending time with Joe Girardi. The two men were joined by their leadership roles in Judge’s life, comparing notes about a kid who was – and is – as innocent as a dove.
Amerman told Girardi, “Aaron is never going to create problems for you. I can promise you that. He’s special.”
Indeed, as long as he could remember, Judge has always been larger than life, if not larger than his uniform. He towered over the other kids, especially in sports. As a wide receiver on the football team, Judge set a school record for touchdowns. On the basketball court, Judge led the team in points. And in baseball, he was 9-3 with a 0.65 ERA as a pitcher and batted .500 as a first baseman.
Football could’ve been an option for Judge, as Notre Dame, UCLA and Stanford all recruited him heavily. The door to professional baseball was open, too, as the A’s selected Judge in the 31st round of the 2010 draft. But Judge opted for college, allowing his parents to steer him to Fresno State.
“Both of them are teachers and to them education came first. It was the right decision,” Judge said. “And to be honest with you, I wasn’t ready to go out in to the world. I needed to go to college. I needed to mature.”
By his late teens Judge had already begun to appreciate his many blessings on and off the field, including his striking appearance. Judge’s parents waited until he was 10 to confirm his hunch that he’d been adopted – “I knew I didn’t look like them.”
“I finally said, “okay, what’s going on?” and that’s when they told me,” Judge said. “I was fine with that, they were the only parents I ever knew. It actually wasn’t a big deal.”
“We’re more blessed than he is,” Patty Judge told the New York Post in 2015.
Added Wayne Judge: “Words can’t describe how proud of him we are. If it happens to end tomorrow, (Aaron) is the type of kid who will say, ‘It was meant to be’ and move on.’’
But no one expects a slowdown in Judge’s rapid ascent, nor is anyone from back home worried about celebrity’s long tentacles sabotaging his career. Judge has already appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated and participated in a hilarious skit on the Tonight show that went viral.
Yet Judge remains thoroughly unimpressed with himself.
“You have to remember that Aaron comes from a small town where everyone knows everyone,” said Joe Piombo Sr., another of Judge’s high school baseball coaches. “He has the work ethic of a small-town kid. Aaron could’ve stayed in New York last (winter), but he came home and helped his parents around the yard. He went to our basketball and football games. He gives our kids hope that they can get noticed, too, even from a small community.”
Every year the Yankees conduct media training workshops for their younger players, including those who’d been recently drafted. It didn’t take long for the organization to realize Judge wasn’t just any ordinary prospect: he was as big as an NFL tight end, yet as personable and trusting as he was talented.
That’s the combination managers dream about, but they’re the ingredients for potential disaster in a big market, especially when the media-machine starts to rev. With every home run Judge hits, the public’s curiosity about him grows.
“It’s been a relentless assault of asks from all different forms of the media,” said Jason Zillo, the Yankees director of media relations, citing the morning shows, GQ and other men’s magazines, ESPN and Newsweek.
Judge’s teammates adore him and are protective of their young slugger. Not that a guy that big needs back-up but they marvel at how well Judge has handled the media crush.
“Nothing seems to faze Aaron, which is pretty amazing since it happened so quickly,” said Brett Gardner. “Everyone wants to talk to him but you can tell he knows how to treat people.”
Lately, though, Judge and the Yankees have started politely declining requests, as he says, “my focus in on playing ball and helping the team.” Zillo has advised Judge to instead think about “the small bites” in dealing with the press – notably the beat reporters who cover him on a daily basis.
“You have a responsibility and you have to do it well,” Zillo tells Judge. “If you go 4-for-4 with two home runs, you talk (to the press). If you go 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, you talk.”
Judge invariably complies; he’s at his locker every day, although he jokes, “I always give the same answers.” But the Yankees aren’t worried about reading Judge’s name in Page Six, which loves to bold-face the names of athletes seen pounding drinks in after-hours club.
“That is definitely not Aaron,” said Girardi. “He’s a big kid who can’t hide – he’s noticed everywhere – yet all he cares about is playing ball. That’s what makes him so remarkable.”
Even though Aaron Hicks was experiencing his first real slide of the season, the Yankees certainly missed Jacoby Ellsbury’s replacement in center field the last three games in Oakland.
“He is an important player for us,” general manager Brian Cashman said Monday of Hicks after the switch hitter was examined by club doctor Chris Ahmad but did not have tests done on his lower left-leg problem. “And he has been great for us so far.”
Hicks left Thursday’s 8-7 loss to the A’s with that leg problem and sat out the final three games — all losses — of the disastrous 1-6 road trip.
Cashman said Hicks is “day-to-day,” and the quicker they get the 27-year-old back, the better, even if he is in a 6-for-26 (.231) slide in his past six games, including seven strikeouts. For the season, Hicks is batting .306 with 10 homers, 36 RBIs and a .968 OPS.
Since replacing Ellsbury, who has been out since suffering a concussion May 24, Hicks is hitting .325 (25-for-77) with two homers, 16 RBIs, 16 strikeouts and a .926 OPS in 20 games in which the Yankees went 11-9.
Without Hicks, who took batting practice on the field Sunday in Oakland, manager Joe Girardi inserted Mason Williams in center field for three games and used Aaron Judge, Chase Headley and Gary Sanchez in Hicks’ No. 2 spot in the order. Williams went 2-for-9 with an RBI in three games against the A’s. Judge, Headley and Sanchez went 2-for-11 in those games with Judge going 2-for-3 with three RBIs Friday night.
“We have missed him,” Cashman said of Hicks. “But we also have missed others. We missed [Aroldis] Chapman and miss CC [Sabathia].”
Greg Bird will have his bothersome right ankle examined by Dr. Robert Anderson on Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C.
Bird has been on the DL since May 2 and shut down a minor league rehab assignment last week when his foot bothered him. A CT scan and MRI exam did not reveal any signs of significant injury, and Cashman said the bone bruise that landed Bird on the DL has healed.
Bird, who missed the 2016 season because of shoulder surgery and fouled a ball off his foot late in spring training, has played in 12 minor league games for Single-A Tampa and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, hitting a combined .237 (9-for-38) with four RBIs. In 19 games for the Yankees, he is hitting .100 (6-for-60) with a homer, three RBIs and a .450 OPS.
Despite his lack of production, Bird’s absence has left a void in the Yankees’ lineup. He was the No. 3 hitter on Opening Day. Chris Carter has started 38 of the 39 games since Bird went down at first base and has hit .203 (24-for-118) with seven homers, 17 RBIs, an OPS of .704 and whiffed 52 times.
Yankees minor league pitcher Matt Marsh was suspended 50 games, MLB announced Monday, for violating the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
Marsh has gone 2-2 with a 3.68 ERA with Double-A Trenton this season after starting the year at Tampa. He was suspended following a second positive test for “a drug of abuse.”
For both teams, third base has been a glaring issue this year. If the Yankees (.668 OPS from 3B) and Red Sox (.564 OPS from 3B) look to upgrade at the deadline, the best available third baseman–Royals’ Mike Moustakas–could result in a bidding war between the rivals, per Jon Morosi of MLB.com.
Moustakas, enjoying a career-best offensive year, is the most intriguing Royal to monitor over the coming days. He could become the subject of a bidding war between the Yankees and Red Sox as the rivals chase the American League East title.
The Yankees are considering upgrades at third base, where Chase Headley is having one of the worst offensive seasons of his career. (He’s also committed the second-most errors of any Major League third baseman this year.) Many in the industry have expected the Yankees’ improvement to come from within, thanks to top prospect Gleyber Torres. But Torres injured his left elbow in a Triple-A game Saturday, halting (at least temporarily) his rapid progress through the Minors.
Boston’s need at third base is even more glaring, with the worst OPS at the position (.565) of any team in the Majors. Pablo Sandoval has fallen out of the everyday job, despite having two years and $37.2 million left on his contract after the current season ends. Headley, for the record, is under contract for 2018 at $13 million.
Heading into play on June 19, Moustakas owned an impressive .276/.316/.549 slash line with 18 home runs. With the Royals sitting at 33-35 through 68 games, a sell off could be on the horizon.
The AL East race is likely to come down to the final days of the season, making any one acquisition that much more important in a division that could be separated by just a few games.
Five runs over four innings from Tanaka and another Yankees loss?
This season has become a nightmare for Tanaka, who is the one weak link in a starting rotation that otherwise has been a lot better than expected.
This made it five losses in a row for the Yanks and three in three days to a last-place A’s ballclub that plays well at home but has no business being a game away from sweeping a four from a division leader that was baseball’s hottest just a few days ago.
Tanaka let them down yet again and has become a big, big problem for a club that perhaps could do great things this season if their old ace wasn’t giving the Yankees about what Andy Messersmith gave them in 1978, or for younger fans, what Luis Severino gave them as a starter last season.
The Yankees don’t want to admit this, but Tanaka may never be what he was even though he’s just 28.
His fastball isn’t what it was when he left Japan to join the Yankees in 2014, and his arm isn’t the same either because he’s been pitching with a partially torn UCL since September of ’14.
Tanaka was healthy enough and consistently very good last season going 14-4 with a 3.07 ERA that was third best in the league while working 199 2/3 innings.
This spring, he was unhittable pretty much from start to finish in the Grapefruit League. He looked ready to make a run for a Cy Young.
And then came Opening Day.
He stunk in a loss at Tampa Bay, allowing seven runs over 2 2/3 innings.
Since, he’s had outings in which he gave up eight runs over 1 2/3 innings, six runs in three innings, seven runs over 5 2/3, five in five and now five in four.
There have been a few very good nights, especially his three-hit shutout in Boston on April 27, but not enough for someone of his stature.
His problems Saturday were same old, same old.
“Mistakes,” manager Joe Girardi said. “It really comes down to it. A splitter that didn’t do what it was supposed to, a slider didn’t do what it was supposed to. And again it was the inconsistency in the mistakes that he made.”
Tanaka was right saying his three homers allowed were “unacceptable,” but he didn’t seem as dejected as you’d think a supposed ace with a 6.34 ERA and 21 homers allowed over 14 starts would be.
Tanaka even took a bit of a glass-half-full approach to his day because he pitched well enough to strike out 10 and walk just one.
“I felt like I was able to get a couple of strikeouts, which tells you that there’s some bite to the off-speed stuff, so I look at that as a positive,” the Japanese righty said through his translator.
Catcher Austin Romine went this direction, too, saying, “He made two mistakes on a split that didn’t split and a slider that hung up there, If you take that away, he pitched a pretty good game.”
Well, la-dee-da. Three homers allowed and giving up five runs total in just four innings of work is not a pretty good game … for any pitcher.
That first-pitch homer that Matt Joyce hit out in the A’s first trumps Tanaka finishing the inning with three strikeouts in a row.
And it doesn’t really matter how good Tanaka looked striking out the side in a third inning in which Oakland scored three runs on five hits.
“It’s just part of the game,” Girardi said. “You’re always going to have some guys on your club that are usually struggling a little bit. I believe in him. I’ve seen what he’s done the previous three years. We’ll just try to get him ready and get him going.”
They’ve been trying.
It’s not working.
Maybe this is just a really bad stretch that Tanaka is going through and he’ll figure out how to be consistent again.
Based on the Tanaka we’ve been seeing — his inconsistencies with his slider and splitter, his great number of mistake pitches, all the home runs opponents are hitting — the no spinning response would be this:
What you see might be what you get all season long.
Greg Bird has been on the DL since May 2 after injuring his ankle.
By NYDN Staff
Greg Bird, who has been struggling during his minor-league rehab stint, still isn’t feeling right and is seeing a doctor, according to Joe Girardi.
The Yankees manager announced the news Thursday afternoon while on Mike Francesa’s show on WFAN.
Bird fouled a ball off his ankle in the team’s final Grapefruit League game. He went on the disabled list on May 2.
On Wednesday, Bird went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and a walk in Triple-A Scranton’s 6-5 victory over Rochester in Moosic, Pa.
“The results, they haven’t been great is the bottom line, so we’re trying to get him going is what we’re trying to do,” Girardi previously said. “I’m not there, so I’m not necessarily watching his whole at-bats and how he’s reacting to pitches, but when you look at the numbers, they’re not what you expect from Greg Bird.”
Bird hit 11 homers and posted an .872 OPS during a 46-game stint with the Yankees in 2015, but he missed the entire 2016 campaign due to a shoulder injury.
Sabathia will undergo an MRI on Wednesday to determine how serious his injury is, but regardless what comes of it, manager Joe Girardi says he’s expecting this issue to warrant a disabled list stint.
“We’ve had some losses this year and guys have stepped up, so we’re going to have to have someone step up in his absence,” manager Joe Girardi said. “It’s not what you want because (Sabathia) is throwing the ball so well and he was throwing the ball great (Tuesday). Somebody’s going to have to step up.”
Girardi didn’t name options after Tuesday’s game.
Here are six:
Anthony Gruppuso | USA TODAY Sports
Chad Green, RHP
Age: 26 (27 on May 24, 2018)
Acquired: Traded to Yankees from Detroit with RHP Luis Cessa for LHP Justin Wilson on Dec 9, 2015.
2017 Yankees stats: 0-0, 8 games, 1 start, 18.2 IP, 8 hits, 5 runs, 5 ER, 2 HR, 5 BB, 23 K through June 13.
2017 Minor league stats: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA), 2-1, 3.74 ERA, 4 starts, 21.2 IP, 25 hits, 10 runs, 8 ER, 6 BB, 27 K. Tampa (High-A), 0-1, 2.25 ERA, 1 game, 4 IP, 2 hits, 0 BB, 5 K.
Odds: 3 to 1
The scoop: Green is the best bet to replace Sabathia, especially if the injury is projected to be just a 2-to-3 week issue. Working in his favor is Green made his first start of the season last Sunday so that struggling ace Masahiro Tanaka could get an extra day of rest between starts Working against Green is that he only was stretched out to 53 pitches and his start didn’t go real well (2-plus innings, 2 runs).
David Goldman | AP
Luis Cessa, RHP
Age: 25 (turns 25 on April 25, 2018)
Acquired: Traded to Yankees from Detroit with RHP Chad Green for LHP Justin Wilson on Dec 9, 2015.
2017 minor league stats: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA), 3-6, 4.15 ERA, 11 games, 10 starts, 65 IP, 66 hits, 37 runs, 30 ER, 7 HR, 22 BB, 47 K through June 13.
Odds: 5 to 1
The scoop: Cessa has pitched to a 2.25 ERA with 17 strikeouts and three walks over 20 innings in his last three Triple-A starts to rebound from a stretch of three really awful outings. This hot streak probably will get Cessa strong consideration for a recall to fill in for Sabathia. The Yankees like Cessa’s arm a lot and he pitched a few good big-league games for them last season, so he’s likely to get another chance at some point. Now seems like a good time. And unlike Green, Cessa is stretched out, as he’s thrown at least 90 pitches in all of his last five starts.
Reinhold Matay | USA TODAY Sports
Chance Adams, RHP
Age: 22 (23 on Aug. 10)
Acquired: 2015 draft, 5th round
Yankees prospect ranking: MLB.com, No. 8
2017 stats: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA), 3-2, 2.52 ERA, 6 starts, 35.2 IP, 18 hits, 10 runs, 10 ER, 3 HR, 12 BB, 40 K through June 13. Trenton (AA), 4-0, 1.03 ERA, 6 starts, 35 IP, 23 hits, 6 runs, 4 ER, 2 HR, 15 BB, 32 K.
Odds: 15 to 1
The scoop: Adams is the Yankees’ best Triple-A pitching prospect – one of the best in the entire farm system, actually – but he’s probably a long shot for a first big-league call-up unless Sabathia’s injury requires a long disabled list stint such as 6-to-8 weeks. Why? Adams doesn’t have to be on the Yankees’ 40-man roster yet, but they’d have to free up a spot to call him up and then keep him on it if and when he’d return to the minors. Adams does seem to be getting close to being big-league ready, as he’s held opponents to three-or-fewer runs in all 12 of his 2017 starts.
Caleb Smith, LHP
Age: 25 (26 on July 28)
Acquired: 2013 draft, 13th round.
2017 stats: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA), 4-0, 2.74 ERA, 12 starts, 63 IP, 48 hits, 23 runs, 19 ER, 6 HR, 17 BB, 59 K through June 13. Trenton (AA), 0-0, 3.38 ERA, 1 game, 2.2 IP, 1 hit, 1 run, 1 ER, 1 HR, 3 BB, 5 K.
Odds: 20 to 1
The scoop: Smith isn’t on the Yankees’ 40-man roster, but he’s having a consistently strong season. His RailRiders’ ERA ranks eighth best in the International League. By calling Smith up, the Yanks could maintain two lefties in their rotation. Also, he’d be a good fit because like Sabathia, he made a start Tuesday night.
David Gard | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
Kim Klement | USA TODAY Sports
Bryan Mitchell, RHP
Age: 26 (27 on April 19, 2018)
Acquired: 2009 draft, 16th round
2017 Yankees stats: 1-1, 5.54 ERA, 11 games, 13 IP, 13 hits, 10 runs, 8 ER, 1 HR, 7 B, 9 K. (Optioned to Triple-A for second time on May 31)
2017 minor league stats: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA), 0-1, 5 starts, 14 IP, 19 hits, 10 runs, 7 ER, 1 HR 4 BB 15 K through June 13.
Odds: 50 to 1
The scoop: Mitchell is in Triple-A starting because Yankees management feels that he’ll help them in that role this season, but he’s been struggling and was only stretched out to 56 pitches in his last outing (2 2/3 innings, 1 run, 4 hits, 2 walks at Lehigh Valley on June 10). Look for Mitchell to be passed over this time.
John E. Sokolowski | USA TODAY Sports
Adam Warren, RHP
Age: 29 (30 on Aug. 25)
Acquired: Traded by Chicago Cubs to Yankees with OF Billy McKinney, OF Rashad Crawford and SS Gleyber Torres for LHP Aroldis Chapman on July 25, 2016.
The scoop: Warren has the most starting experience in the majors of the Yankees’ options with 21 career starts and he competed for a rotation spot this past spring, but manager Joe Girardi likes him as a jack-of-all-trades reliever and that’s probably where he’s going to stay. Sabathia missing significant time could convince the Yankees to go with Warren as a replacement.
Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge in the eighth inning at Yankee Stadium on June 9, 2017
California, here he comes.
Aaron Judge is in his home state, where the West Coast will get a closeup of baseball’s hottest attraction. For Judge, who started the day with Triple Crown statistics of 21 home runs, 47 RBIs and a .344 batting average, the trip will represent a homecoming and a chance to see his family and friends.
The AL East-leading Yankees play three games in Anaheim against the Angels, followed by four in Oakland with the A’s.
“I’m excited,’’ Judge said Sunday. “My first road trip last year was to California, now it’s more exciting. They’ll be more people back home, friends from college, it’ll be good to see family and friends who haven’t seen me play for a while.’’
Mention his adoptive parents, Wayne and Patty, and Judge smiles. He was born on April 26, 1992, in Linden, California, about 85 miles from Oakland. He was adopted the following day.
“Some kids grow in their mom’s stomach, I grew in my mom’s
heart,’’ Judge said. “She’s always showed me love and compassion ever since I was a little baby. I’ve never needed to think differently or wonder about anything.’’
Judge, whose adopted brother, John, is an English teacher in Korea, did have a childhood curiosity.
“I think I asked questions when I was 10 years old,’’ he said. “ ‘I don’t look like you mom, I don’t look like you dad, what’s going on here?’ ’’ he asked.
“They told me,’’ of his adoption, he said. “That was it. I said, ‘OK, can I go outside and play now?’ It wasn’t a big deal.’’
While some adopted children may yearn to know their biological parents, Judge said “that has never’’ crossed his mind. “I can’t really relate to it. I have one set of parents, the ones that raised me. That’s how it is.’’
“The orphan population is so large worldwide that we didn’t even know what it is,” said Chuck Johnson, president and CEO of the National Council for Adoption.
Sheila Riccardi, communications director for the Children’s Aid and Family Service of New Jersey, said, “We would love the attention of a huge sports star. Most of the children who come here have suffered a lot of trauma and abuse. It’s not like they were born and they get adopted. Always, something bad has happened for them to be with us. Stories I hear are absolutely tragic. Most of our kids that are in need of a home, they’re older. Kids in foster care by the time they’re nine, they are considered old. So we do work hard to find families.”
Judge’s parents attended a recent series in New York and will be at all of the games on the coast. “I think my dad bought MLB Network,’’ Judge said. “They’re watching every game. My mom does a lot of yard work. She’ll be out in the yard listening to the game.’’
“We don’t talk about it much to be honest,’’ he said. “They say ‘good game,’ stuff like that, but that’s the last thing I want to do when I call my parents is to talk about more baseball. I want to know how they’re doing, how’s the dog doing, what did you do today. ‘’
Judge’s muted reaction to hitting the longest homer in the majors this season merely corresponded to his motto on Twitter: “If what you did yesterday still seems big today, then you haven’t done anything today!’’