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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 6/25/23

Judge has a torn ligament in his right big toe, not a sprain; Bauers opens up about the Yankees, baseball, self-confidence and a number of topics; LeMahieu discusses slump

MLB: New York Yankees at Los Angeles Dodgers Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN: The Yankees had said all along that Aaron Judge was dealing with a sprained ligament in his right big toe. However, the outfielder himself said on Saturday that he actually has a torn ligament. The difference can be very, very significant, and this news likely pushes his timeline for a return even further because he still experiences pain by walking.

He has been on the injured list since June 6. “I’ve got to knock out the rehab stuff,” the reigning AL MVP said. “I’ve had different injuries over the years where it’s going to take a while. It’s not going to be perfect here in a couple of weeks. Once we can manage the pain, we’re going to be in a good spot.”

The Yankees offense is not particularly fearful without Judge, but it appears they will be without him for at least some more time. The player has been doing rehab stuff in a pool this week and it was reported there was a chance he progressed to performing some light baseball activities such as throwing and light hitting.

New York Post | Steve Serby: The career of a baseball player is often not as smooth as fans imagine it. It has peaks and valleys, and these low points can be very low. Yankees outfielder Jake Bauers, currently thriving with the team, sat down with The Post and talked about how the pandemic season at the Cleveland Guardians’ alternate site was a tough experience, why he hit rock bottom in Seattle in 2021, and how he finally feels he can help an MLB club right now. It’s worth a read.

NJ Advance Media | Max Goodman: DJ LeMahieu is in the middle of a horrific slump, in which he is hitting .177/.218/.283 over his last 30 games. The Yankees offense has suffered a lot as a result. He acknowledged this might be one of the worst streaks of his career.

“I haven’t really hit this bad in a while, I don’t know if ever,” LeMahieu said on Friday afternoon. “It’s coming at a bad time for our team. It’s frustrating.”

How has he approached his slump? Well, he said he is not thinking about mechanics too much. Instead of trying something new, he stated that he is trying to return to the things that made him successful in the past.

“I don’t really think about that stuff, I’m not a mechanical guy,” the infielder said. “It’s just going into more of a deep dive into things that have made me good, made me the hitter that I am so just trying to find solutions and trying to try to attack those small things.”