ESPN News Services
Judge will be available for baserunning purposes and in the outfield, as needed, while he continues his rehab from a chip fracture in his right wrist.
“With the roster, it makes some sense to have him available to, if there’s a spot where we can get him in, to run the bases or play some defense,” Boone said. “He’s getting real close to being an option for us.”
Boone told reporters that the team is a couple of days from making a decision on at-bats for Judge in a simulated game, a step before he will hit in a game. The Yankees want Judge to work off any rust before the postseason.
“It’s about hopefully getting him enough at-bats to where he can kind of knock off some of that rust, and hopefully that timing comes back sooner rather than later and he gets in a comfortable place as we head into the final week and into October,” Boone said.
Judge took live batting practice Monday — the first time he had faced live pitching of any kind since suffering the injury, which occurred when he was hit by a fastball from Royals pitcher Jakob Junis on July 26.
The Yankees were 25-20 in Judge’s absence. On the day he was injured, New York was 65-36 and 4½ games behind Boston in the American League East. On Friday, the Yankees were 90-56, 10½ games behind the Red Sox.
Judge is hitting .285 with 26 home runs and 61 RBIs this season.
Also, injured closer Aroldis Chapman will throw another bullpen session Saturday, a simulated game Monday and then could be activated in the middle of next week.
Chapman has not pitched in a game since Aug. 21 because of left knee tendinitis.
“I’m feeling really good right now,” Chapman said through a translator. “No pain and nothing.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.