Yankees injury updates: Aaron Judge nearing return; Luis Severino increases throwing program
Plus updates on Domingo German, Jordan Montgomery, and others
NEW YORK -- Tuesday night, . He was out with a biceps injury that led to a shoulder problem and somehow a calf issue as well.
"It's been a long time. Feels longer than it has been for me," Stanton said Tuesday afternoon. "Excited to be here. The boys have been fun to watch while I've been gone. It's going to be good to file in and battle with them."
The Yankees plan to ease Stanton back into action following his lengthy absence -- he noted he's played a full nine-inning game only once on his minor league rehab assignment -- while rotating him between the two corner outfield spots and DH.
"However I'm needed. I'm sure I'm going to bounce around -- all three positions -- like last year," Stanton said when asked about his role. "... We're just going to listen to what the body says. Maybe a couple (games) on, one off. Just see how it goes."
Although the Yankees are healthier than they've been maybe all season, they are still without several key players. Here's an update on the other notable injured Yankees, starting with their other massive slugger.
Judge continues rehab assignment
Over the weekend Aaron Judge, who has been sidelined since April 21 with an oblique strain, started a minor league rehab assignment with New York's Triple-A affiliate. The rehab assignment will continue at least another three days:
Judge is 1 for 12 with six strikeouts through three rehab games, though the results don't matter. All that matters is how he and his oblique feel. Right now, everything feels good, so it's just a matter of building up endurance and regaining timing at the plate.
"He feels good," manager Aaron Boone said Monday. "I think he'd prefer being back already. But I think the nature of the injury and just how we've had to bring him back, I think it's important that he gets a couple more games down in there where he's in the field, bouncing back, running the bases, those kinds of things. So he's doing really well, he feels good, he feels like he's ready. I'm excited to see him here in a few days."
Severino increases throwing program
Shoulder inflammation sent Luis Severino to the sidelines in spring training and, as he ramped up his throwing program in April, he suffered a lat strain that set him back. After playing catch at 60-90 feet for a few weeks, Severino stretched it out to 105 feet Tuesday, and said he could throw off a mound sometime next week.
"I've been feeling good. I've been at 90 feet for like a week. I feel like I can go more," Severino said. "I understand they want to get it right. They don't want something to happen and set you back. I'd rather be like this and be healthy when I come back."
Boone added Severino will essentially go through spring training, putting him on track to return in late July or early August as long as there are no more setbacks..
Betances still feeling soreness
Like Severino, Dellin Betances has not pitched this season after going down with shoulder inflammation in spring training. He suffered a setback in April and a second setback more recently, that one with lat soreness. Betances is still in the shutdown period for the lat and, on Tuesday, he said he still has some soreness.
"At this point, I have to make sure when I come back, I've got to be at my best," Betances said. "As a team, we're looking to win the division. I want to make sure that I'm there for the guys to make that final push into the playoffs. If I'm ready then and that happens, then we can all forget about (missing the start of the season)."
Even without Betances, the Yankees have one of the best bullpens in baseball. Still, there is no such thing as too many good relievers, plus Betances will be a free agent after the season. The sooner he returns and pitches at full strength, the better it will be for him and the Yankees.
Montgomery halts throwing program with discomfort
Left-hander Jordan Montgomery cut Tuesday morning's bullpen session short at the team's spring training complex in Tampa after experiencing discomfort. He is currently rehabbing from Tommy John surgery.
"He walked off. He had a little discomfort," Boone said. "Hoping it's nothing more than just not feeling great on a particular day, which can tend to happen. You can have some ups and downs. I don't have much more information on that at this point."
Montgomery had elbow reconstruction last June and has said he is hoping to return this August. It's worth noting his rehab was halted a week or two over the winter with soreness in the elbow. This could be another minor hiccup, though the Yankees won't know more for another few days.
German begins throwing program
For the first time since being placed on the injured list with a hip strain on June 9, righty Domingo German played catch Monday and again Tuesday. He has also resumed agility drills and said he no longer feels discomfort in the hip. There is no firm timetable for him to throw off a mound, however, so German is likely to miss another few weeks.
Morales progressing well
Kendrys Morales, who is five days into an injured list stint for a calf strain, hit in the cage for the first time Monday and is making good progress, according to Boone. Of course, there's a strong likelihood the Yankees will release Morales as soon as he is healthy enough to be activated given the Edwin Encarnacion trade and healthy returns of Judge and Stanton.
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