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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 7/8/22

Aaron Judge out of lineup with “soreness;” Judge’s 30th home run of season puts him in the history books; Yankees sign Richard Rodríguez; trio of Baby Bombers headed to Futures Game

New York Yankees v Pittsburgh Pirates Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

New York Post | Dan Martin: In case you missed it, Aaron Judge wasn’t in the starting lineup during last night’s series opener against the Boston Red Sox due to “lower body soreness.” While, judging from Aaron Boone’s comments on “The Michael Kay Show,” it seemed likely that the Yankees were being cautious with their superstar outfielder, this will probably be a story we’re going to be monitoring for the next few days. | Jake Crouse: In happier Judge news, did you know that his grand slam on Wednesday night was historic? With 30 home runs on the year, the center fielder is tied with Alex Rodriguez (2007) and his 2017 self for second-most home runs hit before the All-Star Break in franchise history — only Roger Maris, who hit 33 homers before the break in 1961, has more. Additionally, he is only the third player in AL history with multiple seasons in which he hit 30 or more home runs before the break, joining Ken Griffey Jr. (1994, 1997 and 1998) and Mark McGwire (1987 and 1997).

MLB Trade Rumors | Anthony Franco: The Yankees made their first move of the summer hot stove, signing Richard Rodríguez to a minor league deal. Not all that long ago, Rodríguez was one of the league’s best relief pitchers, posting a 3.00 ERA and 1.089 WHIP from 2018 to 2021. He struggled to generate whiffs last year, however, striking out just nine batters in 26 innings after being traded to the Atlanta Braves at the deadline — because of this, the Braves did not tender him a contract, letting him hit free agency. Then, to make matters worse, he received an 80-game suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance. Although his suspension makes him ineligible for the postseason roster this season, he is under team control through at least 2023.

WFAN | Lou DiPietro: While we don’t know which members of the 2022 Yankees will be joining Aaron Judge in Los Angeles for the All-Star Game, we do know which Baby Bombers will be repping the team at the Future’s Game: shortstop Anthony Volpe, outfielder Jasson Dominguez, and pitcher Ken Waldichuk.