It looks like the cavalry is on the way for the Yankees. Earlier today, the team announced that All-Stars Aaron Judge and Aroldis Chapman participated in a simulated game. Judge completed 11 at-bats against the likes of A.J. Cole, Chance Adams, and Phillip Diehl. Chapman, meanwhile, tossed 22 pitches, facing Tyler Wade and Kyle Higashioka. The club reported that both players got through the outing just fine.
Judge, 26, came off the disabled list last week. He’s already clear to play defense and run the bases. The Yankees let him play a few innings in right field on Friday night. Now it sounds like he can be in the mix for the Boston series.
“I would say it’s a possibility,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone told reporters on Sunday. “I don’t think we’re there. That’s potentially in the timeline, but I wouldn’t say we’re there to make that call yet. I’d say around that time, he could be close. I would think by some point on this homestand, assuming everything continues to progress, he should be active.”
The right fielder hit .285/.398/.548 with 26 home runs before suffering a fractured wrist on July 26th. The offense has been maddeningly inconsistent since losing Judge, fluctuating between frustrating and explosive. Adding his bat into the mix, even if it’s not at 100 percent, should go a long way towards stabilizing the lineup.
Meanwhile, Chapman hasn’t appeared in a game since August 21st. He had been battling knee tendinitis all season before it finally proved too much to handle. The flame-thrower recorded 31 saves prior to landing on the disabled list, pitching to a 2.11 ERA with 1.90 FIP. While the bullpen has done a fine job in the southpaw’s absence, a team can never have too many quality relievers. That’s especially the case now that Dellin Betances has started to show signs of fatigue.
While there’s no news on when either player will return full-time, things are looking good. What do you expect from Judge and Chapman when they return to the Yankees? Let us know in the comment section below!