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Around the Empire: Yankees news — 8/20/20

A Saturday return for Aaron Judge on the table; DJ LeMahieu frustrated by thumb injury; James Paxton makes adjustments looking for velocity

MLB: Atlanta Braves at New York Yankees Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

NJ.com | Brendan Kuty: Aaron Boone did not rule out the possibility of Aaron Judge making his return from the IL in Saturday’s game against the New York Mets. The right fielder, recovering from a Grade 1 calf strain that the team believes occurred on the turf of Tropicana Field, hit in the batting cage Monday and Tuesday, and aims to ramp back up to game speed by the end of the week. If all goes well, he could be back in the lineup at the end of this week.

New York Post | George A. King III: Had Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton been healthy, DJ LeMahieu still would have been angry that he needed to head to the injured list with a sprained left thumb; with them also on the shelf, however, he finds the bad timing “frustrating.” After having consulted with doctors, he expects to be out two-to-three weeks, but not surprisingly, he hopes to be able to get back sooner than that. So far, however, he’s still a bit sore, and there currently is no timetable for him to pick up a bat in the coming days.

Newsday | Roger Rubin: Knowing that his reduced velocity in his first few starts have had a negative impact on his performance, James Paxton has been working on adjusting his mechanics with Yankees pitching coach Matt Blake to try and get back to where he was last season. They have found that he has been leaning further forward than he did last year, in addition to requiring minor adjustments in his hips. Paxton wondered aloud if the shutdown had been a factor, admitting that he may have picked up some “bad habits” while working out on his own.