Aaron Judge and Didi Gregorius tracked pitches in a Masahiro Tanaka bullpen session on Tuesday, indicating they’ll be back with the New York Yankees soon.
Gregorius, who has been out since Aug. 18 with a left heel bruise, will likely return first. He’s already taking normal batting practice, fielding hard grounders, and running the bases.
According to George A. King III of the New York Post, Aaron Boone indicated that “if [Gregorius] can bounce back [Wednesday] and do more of the same then hopefully we are in a position to activate him on the weekend.’’
New York will gladly welcome back Gregorius’s steady glove and lefty swing. The shortstop has slashed .270/.333/.482 so far this year, with 22 home runs and 74 RBIs.
The good news on Judge’s fractured wrist is that he didn’t experience any major setbacks after taking his first swings in about six weeks on Monday. Apparently, he felt so good that he was able to add soft toss to his work today, per ESPN’s Coley Harvey on Twitter.
Aaron Boone says Aaron Judge was able to do both tee work and soft toss inside the cages in Oakland today. They're still figuring out what the rehab-game process would look like for him. Didi Gregorius is still likely to be activated Friday.
— Coley Harvey (@ColeyHarvey) September 6, 2018
If Judge can get back on the field this season, the Yankees top priority will be getting him back up to game speed in time for the Wild Card Game in a very short amount of time. Hence, the pitch tracking off Tanaka.
Judge and Gregorius have remained active in during their absence. Every time a Yankee hits a home run, cameras pan to Judge celebrating in the dugout.
Gregorius has taken to sketching emoji reactions from the bench, and being off the field hasn’t stopped him from sending his famous victory tweets:
#startspreadingthenews yankees win great start by 🎯 going 6strong innings with 5k’s, 👴🏽 with the big bases loaded walk and rbi single, 🐂 with the solo homerun and 🐣 with the solo homerun, 🔥🔥bullpen🔥🔥 and 🦕 to close it… 🔥🔥WHAT A GAME!!..
— Sir Didi Gregorius (@DidiG18) September 5, 2018
Despite the morale they bring to the bench, Judge and Gregorius are sorely missed in the Yankee lineup. The Yankees need them back as soon as possible to get ready for October.