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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 7/5/23

Judge may require surgery on toe after season; Yankees honor Sarah Langs at Stadium; Hicks provides perfect response for boos; Randy Vásquez to be called up

New York Yankees v Oakland Athletics Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images | Bill Ladson: Aaron Judge put a scare into the entire Yankees fanbase with his latest injury update. While ruling out in-season toe surgery, he kept a winter procedure on the table while also admitting that this may be an injury that could have lasting effects “a year or two or three years” down the road. He has resumed some light catching and hitting exercises but doesn’t sound close, relaying that he is “running at ten percent.”

New York Daily News | Gary Phillips: As part of the Yankees’ annual HOPE Week initiative, the team honored Sarah Langs and other women from the Her ALS Story organization, which looks to put a spotlight on young women with ALS. Aaron Boone became close friends with Langs during their time working together for ESPN — Boone as a TV color commentator and Langs as a researcher. During her trip to the stadium, Langs wore Lou Gehrig’s cap and held his bat on the anniversary of his “Luckiest Man” speech which helped bring ALS into the national awareness.

New York Post | Jared Schwartz: Aaron Hicks received quite the Bronx welcome in his first return to the stadium since his May DFA. He was jeered during every at-bat, with the boos reaching a crescendo when the Yankees played a tribute video to him on the jumbotron. He responded to the crowd in the perfect manner, homering in his second plate appearance of the Yankees’ 8-4 victory in the second of a four-game set. Hicks rediscovered his swing immediately upon joining the Orioles, slashing .262/.374/.464 with nine home runs, 12 RBI, and a 136 wRC+ in 27 games and spoke of how much he needed the change of scenery, though he is mired in a 5-for-34 skid of late.

CBS Sports: Relaying a piece of news reported by The Athletic’s Chris Kirschner, the Yankees plan to promote Randy Vásquez in time for him to start this afternoon’s game against the Orioles. Vásquez was returned to the minors following his start in the second game of the June 8th doubleheader against the White Sox and has since fulfilled his 15-day option window. He was brilliant in that game against the Pale Hose, pitching 5.2 scoreless allowing just two hits and a walk against three strikeouts.