Masahiro Tanaka (Shanna Lockwood)
Masahiro Tanaka (Shanna Lockwood)

Masahiro Tanaka must notify the Yankees by midnight on Saturday if he's opting out of his contract. 

Tanaka signed a seven-year, $155 million contract with the Yankees in 2014. The contract includes a full no-trade close and the ability to opt out after four seasons.

The 29-year-old endured an up-and-down 2017, starting poorly but ending strongly with playoff performances.

In the regular season, Tanaka was 13-12 with a 4.74 ERA and 1.24 WHIP with 194 strikeouts in 178 innings. His ERA was his highest since joining the Yankees by more than a full run. But in the playoffs, Tanaka gave up just two runs in 20 innings pitched across three starts, with 18 strikeouts.

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

My suspicion is that the Yankees will not work out an extension and Tanaka will opt out of his deal.

At the moment, the top names in the free agent market for starting pitchers are Jake Arrieta and Yu Darvish. If Tanaka opts out, he could be considered anywhere from No. 1 to No. 3 in the starting pitcher market. In a baseball world where talent of Tanaka's caliber is at a premium - at age 29 no less - it would seem that he'll be able to net more than the $67 million he is owed over the next three seasons.

However, Tanaka's situation offers no assurances. Tanaka has been pitching with a slight tear of the ulnar collateral ligament for at least three-plus seasons (diagnosed in 2014). Tanaka's UCL may never completely tear, or it could on his next pitch. Further, Tanaka endured the roughest stretch of his career in 2017. Tanaka pitched to a 5.47 ERA and 1.37 WHIP in the first half of the season (102 innings), allowing 23 home runs during the span. That was enough to bring speculation about his forthcoming decision.

Fortunately for Tanaka, he was much better over his final 12 starts (3.77 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and 91 strikeouts in 76 1/3 innings) and was dominant in the postseason (20 IP, 2 ER, 18 K). Tanaka demonstrated that he could still anchor a rotation and pitch under the pressure of the playoffs, which could go a long way in negotiations. 

Despite this, the Yankees are looking to remain fiscally responsible. In my opinion, if the Yankees wish to re-sign Tanaka should he opt out, the deal they offer might be in the four-year, $80-84 million neighborhood and they would be hesitant to push to five years, $100-105 million, which is what it might take.

Tags: Masahiro Tanaka

Aaron Judge (99) Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Aaron Judge (99) Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Yankees OF Aaron Judge went 0-for-4 in his return to the lineup on Tuesday night.

Judge hit second in the order and started in right field. 

"I felt like I never left," Judge said, per MLB.com. who said he still feels some pain in his wrist but that it won't affect his play. "Everything felt good. I felt like my at-bats were good. Seeing the ball well. That's all you can really ask for after missing that many weeks. So I'm excited with the start, we got the win and just got to keep that rolling." 

Tags: Aaron Judge
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Judge returns in Yankees win 00:00:52
Aaron Judge and Aaron Boone talk about Judge's much-anticipated return to the Yankees lineup in their 3-2 win over the Red Sox

The Yankees' offense came alive in the seventh inning on Tuesday night when Neil Walker hit a go-ahead three-run home run to lead his team to a 3-2 victory over the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium >> Box score


1) The tone was set by Andrew McCutchen after hitting a leadoff homer to begin the game. And Didi Gregorius would add a sarifice fly to give the Yankees a nice 2-0 lead to start the game. But the bats went silent from there on. There were a few opportunities, but New York went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position. 

Tags: Neil Walker
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Sep 16, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees shortstop DiDi Gregorius (18) hits a single to during the ninth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Catalina Fragoso-USA TODAY Sports (Catalina Fragoso)
Sep 16, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees shortstop DiDi Gregorius (18) hits a single to during the ninth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Catalina Fragoso-USA TODAY Sports (Catalina Fragoso)

The Yankees (91-58) will open a series with the Red Sox (103-47) on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. at Yankee Stadium.

Yankees notes

The Yankees have lost 6 of their last 10 games and are 11.5 games behind the AL East-leading Red Sox ... The Yankees are 1.5 games ahead of the Athletics for the first AL Wild Card spot ... Aaron Judge is returning to the lineup for the first time since July 26.

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May 1, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman (54) pitches during the ninth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)
May 1, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman (54) pitches during the ninth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)

Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman will be activated from the disabled list on either Wednesday or Thursday, manager Aaron Boone said prior to Tuesday night's game against the Red Sox.

Chapman, who has been out since Aug. 21, pitched in a simulated game Monday after throwing a 26-pitch bullpen session Saturday.

The 30-year-old has a 2.11 ERA (1.90 FIP) and 1.04 WHIP with 84 strikeouts in 47 innings (50 appearances) this season.

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, David Robertson, Dellin Betances
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Jul 17, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; American League outfielder Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees (99) hits a home run during the second inning against the National League in the 2018 MLB All Star Game at Nationals Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)
Jul 17, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; American League outfielder Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees (99) hits a home run during the second inning against the National League in the 2018 MLB All Star Game at Nationals Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)

Yankees OF Aaron Judge continued his final steps to returning to the lineup on Tuesday, as he took part in another simulated game. 

Judge, along with Aroldis Chapman, didn't have any issues with his sim game on Monday, and that showed with his performance today. With manager Aaron Boone, GM Brian Cashman, and other team officials spectating, Judge launched a homer to right field.

CLICK BELOW TO SEE THE VIDEO

Tags: Aaron Judge
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New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge heads to the dugout after scoring a run against the Kansas City Royals during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. (Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge heads to the dugout after scoring a run against the Kansas City Royals during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. (Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports)

The Yankees are 23-19 since August 2, the day the season began to completely turn when they lost the first of four straight games to Boston. As the Red Sox return to the Bronx Tuesday, the Yankees are looking for the switch to flip. But despite manager Aaron Boone's optimism, time is running out for the club to get it all together.

Meanwhile, they might have to watch the Red Sox celebrate the division title on their home field as they work for a chance to exact revenge in the ALDS.

The Yanks, whose descent goes back to July 12 (30-27 record since then) have a handful of issues that need to be resolved. And the chances that all of them will be remedied before the wild card game are not great...

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Chris Carelli
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Mar 8, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Justus Sheffield (86) throws a pitch during the fifth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Mar 8, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Justus Sheffield (86) throws a pitch during the fifth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

The Yankees officially announced they have promoted left-handed pitchers Justus Sheffield and Domingo German. Clint Frazier was also transferred to the 60-day DL.

Sheffield last pitched on Sept. 2, when he tossed 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief. The Yankees moved Sheffield to the bullpen at the tail end of the minor league season and he made four consecutive relief appearances. He also appeared in relief on June 27, pitching six innings.

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives: Talk of Sheffield's potential promotion began in July and the fact that it took this long is either related to the Yankees' belief that the young lefty was not effective enough to be a factor for the big league club or they mismanaged the chances to determine his potential impact...

Tags: Domingo German, Justus Sheffield
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General view of the tarp covering the infield as rain falls before a game between the Houston Astros and the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. (Anthony Gruppuso)
General view of the tarp covering the infield as rain falls before a game between the Houston Astros and the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. (Anthony Gruppuso)

Tuesday's Yankees vs. Red Sox game at Yankee Stadium has been moved from 1:05 p.m. to 7:05 p.m. due to inclement weather forecast in the area for the afternoon.

The series-opener pits J.A. Happ against former-Yankee Nathan Eovaldi.

With a win, the Red Sox would clinch the AL East title. 

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Apr 19, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman (54) and right fielder Aaron Judge (99) celebrate after defeating the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Apr 19, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman (54) and right fielder Aaron Judge (99) celebrate after defeating the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Yankees OF Aaron Judge and LHP Aroldis Chapman took part in a simulated game Monday at Yankee Stadium, the team announced.

Judge took 11 live at-bats against RHP A.J. Cole, RHP Chance Adams, and LHP Phillip Diehl during his game, while Chapman threw 22 pitches against INF Tyler Wade and C Kyle Higashioka

Judge and Chapman both finished their sessions without any issues coming up, which makes this another successful step toward returning to the club. On Judge specifically, manager Aaron Boone noted Sunday that there is a chance he could be a full participant for the Yankees' upcoming series with the Red Sox. 

Tags: Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman
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Aug 12, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone (17) makes a pitching change in the eight inning against the Texas Rangers at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Aug 12, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone (17) makes a pitching change in the eight inning against the Texas Rangers at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

On Friday night, we reported that Aaron Boone held a brief team meeting after the Yankees' dreary Wednesday night loss to Minnesota. This was but a teensy weensy scoopie, notable not so much for what happened, but for what it said about how the embattled manager handled his first major crisis point.

Then, the reaction by numerous Yankees fans on Twitter through the weekend made clear that I hadn't made my point clearly or effectively enough.

As the Yankees dropped a pair of games to the gutted Toronto Blue Jays, losing another series to a second-division team, the reaction to our Boone story was generally along the lines of "this didn't age well," "this lasted one game," and "Boone knew enough to hold the meeting before Tanaka started."

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New York Yankees pitcher Dellin Betances pitches during the eighth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium. (Catalina Fragoso/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees pitcher Dellin Betances pitches during the eighth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium. (Catalina Fragoso/USA TODAY Sports)

Yankees reliever Dellin Betances blew his third save of the season and lost his sixth decision of the year in Sunday's 3-2 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium.

Betances (4-6) allowed two runs and four hits in the eighth inning, surrendering a game-tying single to Rowdy Tellez and a go-ahead RBI double to Randal Grichuk as New York lost for the fourth time in its last five days.

"We've got to play a little better, and this one's on me," Betances said, according to MLB.com's Bryan Hoch. "I'll take the blame on this one."

Tags: Dellin Betances
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Sep 16, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Andrew McCutchen (26) hits a home run against the Toronto Blue Jays in the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Catalina Fragoso-USA TODAY Sports (Catalina Fragoso)
Sep 16, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Andrew McCutchen (26) hits a home run against the Toronto Blue Jays in the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Catalina Fragoso-USA TODAY Sports (Catalina Fragoso)

After scoring two runs in the first, the Yankees' offense couldn't muster anything else as they fell to the Blue Jays, 3-2, at Yankee Stadium. >> Box score


1) The tone was set by Andrew McCutchen after hitting a leadoff homer to begin the game. And Didi Gregorius would add a sarifice fly to give the Yankees a nice 2-0 lead to start the game. But the bats went silent from there on. There were a few opportunities, but New York went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position. 

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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

Yankees OF Aaron Judge made a cameo appearance in the outfield since coming off the 10-day DL, but he has yet to make one at home plate. However, manager Aaron Boone said that could change during their next series with the Red Sox. 

Speaking before the series finale against the Blue Jays, Boone noted the "possibility" of Judge being fully active for a crucial series with Boston. 

"I would say it's a possibility," Boone told MLB.com's Bryan Hoch. "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."

Tags: Aaron Judge
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Sep 3, 2018; Oakland, CA, USA; New York Yankees infielder Luke Voit (45) is congratulated catcher Gary Sanchez (24) after hitting a two-run home run against the Oakland Athletics in the second inning at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports (Cary Edmondson)
Sep 3, 2018; Oakland, CA, USA; New York Yankees infielder Luke Voit (45) is congratulated catcher Gary Sanchez (24) after hitting a two-run home run against the Oakland Athletics in the second inning at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports (Cary Edmondson)

The Yankees (91-57) play the rubber game with the Blue Jays (66-82) on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. at Yankee Stadium.

Yankees notes

The Yankees comeback fell short against the Jays last night in a 8-7 loss. The Yankees are still 13-5 against Toronto this season. ...CC Sabathia is the Yankees' nominee for the 2018 Roberto Clemente Award due to his work with his PitCCh Foundation, which has hosted numerous events for charity this year. 

 

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CC, Didi and Boone talk loss 00:00:49
CC Sabathia, Didi Gregorius, and Aaron Boone discuss the Yankees recent struggles after the 8-7 loss to the Blue Jays on Saturday afternoon.

The Yankees hit three home runs in an inning, including a grand slam, but it wasn't enough to overcome the Blue Jays' offense in an 8-7 loss on Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium. >> Box score


1) CC Sabathia gave up five runs -- including three home runs -- and New York was forced to go to their bullpen after just 2 1/3 innings. It was the shortest outing of Sabathia's season and marked the second time in three starts that he did not complete four innings.

Tags: CC Sabathia
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Sep 15, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia (52) pitches against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Sep 15, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia (52) pitches against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Yankees LHP CC Sabathia allowed five runs in a span of two innings against the Blue Jays on Saturday afternoon in what was his shortest start of the season.

After pitching a scoreless first, Sabathia ran into trouble in the second when Randal Grichuk launched a solo home run to left center, putting the Blue Jays on the board. Sabathia then gave up a pair of RBI singles later in the inning to make it 3-0.

In the third, Grichuk went deep yet again and Kevin Pillar followed up with a solo blast of his own, putting an end to Sabathia's day.

Tags: CC Sabathia
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New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius attempting to throw a runner out at first base in the seventh inning against the Texas Rangers at Yankee Stadium. (Wendell Cruz/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius attempting to throw a runner out at first base in the seventh inning against the Texas Rangers at Yankee Stadium. (Wendell Cruz/USA TODAY Sports)

The Yankees (91-56) continue their three-game series with the Blue Jays (65-82) on Saturday at 4:05 p.m. at Yankee Stadium.

Yankees notes

The Yankees went 4-5 on their nine-game road trip, but started off their nine-game homestand with a win last night. They shut out the Blue Jya 11-0 thanks to stellar pitching from Masahiro TanakaAndrew McCutchen hit his first homer as a Yankee as well. Aaron Judge also returned to the field for the final two innings. ...The Yankees are 13-4 against the Blue Jays this season, 7-1 at home.

 

Tags: CC Sabathia
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Jul 23, 2018; St. Petersburg, FL, USA;New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone (17) at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Jul 23, 2018; St. Petersburg, FL, USA;New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone (17) at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Following a disheartening road trip, the Yankees won big on Friday night -- and as it turns out, the bounceback came after a relatively rare Aaron Boone team meeting.

As the Yankees were preparing to leave the visitors clubhouse at Minnesota's Target Field on Wednesday night after being one-hit into the eighth inning by the Twins, Boone gathered his players in the locker room and addressed them for several minutes, according to people in the room. Normally on a getaway day, a team simply dresses and trickles out to the bus, but on this occasion, the manager felt a need to speak.

Boone's demeanor was described as even-keeled but firm, and his message was that the Yankees were a good team, and would be successful again if they simply remembered that and started playing that way. He did not shout, and the players came away appreciating the way he handled it.

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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

The Yankees jumped out to a 5-0 lead and never looked back as they easily defeated the Blue Jays, 11-0, in their return to Yankee Stadium on Friday night. >> Box score


1) Aaron Hicks hit an RBI single to put the Yankees on the board during what would become a five-run first inning. Gleyber Torres also had an RBI single and Luke Voit added a two-RBI double in the inning. In the third, Gardner drove in Gregorius and Giancarlo Stanton plated two runs with his single.

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Sep 12, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) looks on during batting practice prior to a game against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jordan Johnson)
Sep 12, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) looks on during batting practice prior to a game against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jordan Johnson)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Immediately before Aaron Boone met the media on Friday afternoon, Yankees media relations VP Jason Zillo dropped a stunner on reporters, announcing that the team would activate Aaron Judge before the game.

This move, of which there had been no prior warning, initially seemed like great news for the Yanks, who have desperately missed their superstar. But almost immediately, Boone added another surprise, explaining that the team was activating a player who could not yet hit.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Andy Martino
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Sep 1, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres (25) is congratulated by third baseman Miguel Andujar (41) after hitting a two run home run against the Detroit Tigers during the fifth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Sep 1, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres (25) is congratulated by third baseman Miguel Andujar (41) after hitting a two run home run against the Detroit Tigers during the fifth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

The Yankees (90-56) open a three-game series with the Blue Jays (65-81) on Friday at 7:05 p.m. at Yankee Stadium.

Yankees notes

The Yanks are 4-4 in their nine-game road trip at the moment. They are also 6-7 in their last 13 games. ...The Yankees lead the A's by two games for the first Wild Card spot. They are also nine games behind Boston for the AL East lead. ...The Yankees own the best record in the MLB (57-9) when their starter goes at least six innings. 

 

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Aaron Judge (99) Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Aaron Judge (99) Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Yankees OF Aaron Judge will be activated before Friday night's game but is not ready to be used as a hitter, manager Aaron Boone said.

"If there's a spot to get him in somewhere to run the bases," the Yankees will do it, Boone added, noting he could also be available to play defense.

Judge took batting practice and threw to home plate and third base from right field on Tuesday, with that BP session marking the second time in as many days that he hit on the field. 

Tags: Aaron Judge
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Apr 19, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius (18) celebrates with New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) after Judge hit a home run in the seventh inning against Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Apr 19, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius (18) celebrates with New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) after Judge hit a home run in the seventh inning against Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

The Yankees have the third-best record in the majors, but for a franchise with 27 rings and World Series expectations nearly every year, that's not good enough for Mike Francesa.

Sure, New York sits 10 1/2 games back of the Red Sox in the AL East race, but the WFAN host took his criticism of the Yankees another step further on Thursday.

"I think this might be the worst 90-win team the Yankees have ever had," Francesa said during his radio show Thursday.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, Gary Sanchez
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Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

The Yankees are likely on their way to playing in the wild card game, and creating a roster for the winner-take-all contest is at the forefront of their front office duties. The Yankees will have to cover all the bases in a game that now has the potential to be played on the road against the surging Athletics.

Here are five questions the Yankees will have to answer when creating its wild card roster... 

Who is the starting pitcher?

Tags: Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, Austin Romine, Brett Gardner, CC Sabathia, David Robertson, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Greg Bird, Luis Cessa, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Neil Walker, Ronald Torreyes, Tommy Kahnle, Tyler Wade, Chris Carelli
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New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner talks to the media during MLB owners' meetings, Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
		 (Eric Christian Smith/AP)
New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner talks to the media during MLB owners' meetings, Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith) (Eric Christian Smith/AP)

On the field, the Yankees' goal this season was to make it further than their ALCS run in 2017. For the front office, though, they had set another expectation for themselves regarding the team's payroll.

Staying under the luxury tax threshold of $197 million was the mission for managin general partner Hal Steinbrenner, GM Brian Cashman, and the rest in the Yankees' front office. And it looks like they will be able to say they accomplished that feat. 

Currently, New York's payroll sits at $192.1 million, which is an increase from the $178.8 million they had at the start of the season, according to ESPN. The increase was expected with the Yankees being active at the trade deadline, but it wasn't too much action that would have vaulted them over the threshold. 

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Sep 12, 2018; Baltimore, MD, USA; Oakland Athletics outfielder Nick Martini (38) celebrates with teammates after defeating the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports  (Evan Habeeb)
Sep 12, 2018; Baltimore, MD, USA; Oakland Athletics outfielder Nick Martini (38) celebrates with teammates after defeating the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports (Evan Habeeb)

The Yankees and A's seem destined to face eachother in the play-in Wild Card game, and Oakland is threatening to rip home field advantage away from New York.

With the Yanks going 4-6 in their last 10 games and A's going 8-2 over the same span (they're in the midst of a six-game winning streak), Oakland is just 1.0 game behind the Yanks for the top Wild Card spot, which comes with home field in winner-takes-all game.

The Yankees (90-56) and A's (89-57) both have 16 games remaining. Oakland faces the 41-104 Orioles on Thursday night, and the Yankees are off. 

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Luis Severino (40) Mandatory Credit: Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jordan Johnson)
Luis Severino (40) Mandatory Credit: Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jordan Johnson)

Heading into Wednesday night's start against the Twins, Yankees RHP Luis Severino had the worst ERA (6.83) in the entire MLB since July 7. It has been a rough second half for the righty, but he helped diminish that number in a solid outing in Minnesota. 

Severino allowed just one run on four hits while striking out five over 5.2 innings of work. Though he allowed just one lone runner across the plate, though, he was set up for the loss with Jake Odorizzi holding a no-hit bid against the Yankees' offense. 

Severino's night started off with a Joe Mauer single, but it was quickly erased with a double play rolled in the next at-bat. From there, the 23-year-old set down 15 straight Twins as he cruised through the lineup. 

Tags: Luis Severino
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Giancarlo Stanton (27) Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports (Paul Rutherford)
Giancarlo Stanton (27) Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports (Paul Rutherford)

The Yankees will leave Minnesota with a sour taste in their mouths after getting two-hit by the Twins in a 3-1 loss Wednesday night. >> Box score


1) The Yankees' offense was ice cold against Jake Odorizzi, who carried a no-hit bid through 7.1 innings. Greg Bird finally broke the no-no with an RBI double that amounted to the Yanks' only offense of the night. Miguel Andujar singled in the top of the ninth for the second hit of the game, but otherwise, the Yankees just couldn't get anything going in this series finale. 

2) Luis Severino didn't go long (5.2 innings), but he only allowed one run in the sixth inning as the only hiccup of his start. He also struck out five batters in what was a good turnaround performance following his shortest outing of the season against the A's last time out. 

Tags: Giancarlo Stanton, Greg Bird, Luis Severino, Miguel Andujar
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New York Yankees' Miguel Andujar hits a fielder's choice ground ball in the first inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles. (AP)
New York Yankees' Miguel Andujar hits a fielder's choice ground ball in the first inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles. (AP)

The Yankees (90-55) wrap up their series against the Twins (66-78) on Wednesday night at Target Field at 8:10 p.m.

Yankees notes

The Yanks are 4-4 in their nine-game road trip at the moment. They are also 6-7 in their last 13 games. ...The Yankees lead the A's by two games for the first Wild Card spot. They are also nine games behind Boston for the AL East lead. ...The Yankees own the best record in the MLB (57-9) when their starter goes at least six innings. 

Tags: Luis Severino
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May 1, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman (54) pitches during the ninth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)
May 1, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman (54) pitches during the ninth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)

The Yankees look to be getting their flamethrowing closer back. 

Manager Aaron Boone told reporters on Wednesday that LHP Aroldis Chapman will re-join the team this weekend, and there is a possibility that he will come off the DL "sometime next week," according to MLB.com's Bryan Hoch. 

The latest update on Chapman came this past weekend, where he was having catch from 90 feet. He has been out due to knee tendinitis that has been a recurring issue all season long...

Tags: Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman
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Sep 9, 2018; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics outfielder Stephen Piscotty (25) celebrates with teammates after hitting a home run in the seventh inning against the Texas Rangers at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kiel Maddox-USA TODAY Sports (Kiel Maddox)
Sep 9, 2018; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics outfielder Stephen Piscotty (25) celebrates with teammates after hitting a home run in the seventh inning against the Texas Rangers at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kiel Maddox-USA TODAY Sports (Kiel Maddox)

The Yankees and A's seem destined to face eachother in the play-in Wild Card game, and Oakland is threatening to rip home field advantage away from New York.

With the Yanks going 5-5 in their last 10 games and A's going 8-2 over the same span (they're in the midst of a five-game winning streak), Oakland is just 2.0 games behind the Yanks for the top Wild Card spot, which comes with home field in winner-takes-all game.

The Yankees (90-55) have 17 games remaining, while the A's (89-57) have 16...

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Sep 11, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins first baseman Joe Mauer (7) hits a grand slam home run in the fifth inning against New York Yankees relief pitcher Tommy Kahnle (48) at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Rempel)
Sep 11, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins first baseman Joe Mauer (7) hits a grand slam home run in the fifth inning against New York Yankees relief pitcher Tommy Kahnle (48) at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Rempel)

The Twins scored 10 runs in a span of three innings against the Yankees on Tuesday night and held on for a 10-5 win. >> Box score


1) Happ (16-6) remained undefeated as a Yankee by striking out three batters and shutting down the Twins. In eight starts since being traded from the Blue Jays, Happ is 6-0 with a 2.70 ERA with New York.

2) Miguel Andujar, Giancarlo Stanton and Didi Gregorius each hit run-scoring doubles in a six-run seventh inning as the Yankees moved within eight games of the AL East-leading Red Sox.

Tags: Didi Gregorius, Miguel Andujar, Sonny Gray
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Aug 26, 2018; Baltimore, MD, USA; New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone (17) looks on the field during the sixth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)
Aug 26, 2018; Baltimore, MD, USA; New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone (17) looks on the field during the sixth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)

The Yankees will continue their three-game set against the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday at Target Field at 8:10 p.m.

Yankees notes

The Yankees have won four of the first seven games of their road trip and are 6-6 in their last 12 games ... 16 of the team's final 25 games will be on the road ... Tuesday's game against the Twins bodes well for the Yankees, who are 23-9 against the AL Central and have beaten the Twins eight straight times.

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New York Yankees starting pitcher J.A. Happ pitches in the first inning against Minnesota Twins at Target Field. (Brad Rempel/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees starting pitcher J.A. Happ pitches in the first inning against Minnesota Twins at Target Field. (Brad Rempel/USA TODAY Sports)

J.A. Happ threw six scoreless innings and the Yankees scored six runs in the seventh inning to beat the Minnesota Twins 7-0 on Monday at Target Field. >> Box score


1) Happ (16-6) remained undefeated as a Yankee by striking out three batters and shutting down the Twins. In eight starts since being traded from the Blue Jays, Happ is 6-0 with a 2.70 ERA with New York.

2) Miguel Andujar, Giancarlo Stanton and Didi Gregorius each hit run-scoring doubles in a six-run seventh inning as the Yankees moved within eight games of the AL East-leading Red Sox.

Tags: Didi Gregorius, Gary Sanchez, Miguel Andujar, Minnesota Twins
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Giancarlo Stanton (27) Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports (Paul Rutherford)
Giancarlo Stanton (27) Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports (Paul Rutherford)

The Yankees begin a three-game series against the Minnesota Twins on Monday at Target Field at 8:10 p.m.

Yankees notes

At 89-54, the Yankees are tied with the Astros for the second-best record in baseball, yet they sit 8 1/2 games behind the Red Sox in the AL East. ... New York's plus-150 run differential ranks third in the majors. ... Over his last 16 games, Giancarlo Stanton is slashing .113/.322/.210 and has just one home run and four RBIs.

Tags: Minnesota Twins
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Aaron Judge (99) Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Aaron Judge (99) Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Aaron Judge took batting practice on the field on Monday in Minnesota before the Yankees' game against the Twins -- hitting that goal earlier than manager Aaron Boone had predicted.

Boone said on Sunday that the hope was that Boone -- who has been out since July 26 due to a fractured wrist -- would take BP toward the end of this week at Yankee Stadium.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Danny Abriano
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Sep 4, 2018; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics shortstop Marcus Semien (10) throws over New York Yankees baserunner Gleyber Torres (25) too late to double up Brett Gardner at first during the eighth inning of a Major League Baseball game at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports (D. Ross Cameron)
Sep 4, 2018; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics shortstop Marcus Semien (10) throws over New York Yankees baserunner Gleyber Torres (25) too late to double up Brett Gardner at first during the eighth inning of a Major League Baseball game at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports (D. Ross Cameron)

The Yankees and A's seem destined to face eachother in the play-in Wild Card game, and New York's lead for home field advantage is starting to shrink.

With the Yanks going 5-5 in their last 10 games and A's going 7-3 over the same span, Oakland is just 2.5 games behind them (3.0 in the loss column). 

The Yankees (89-54) have 19 games remaining, while the A's (87-57) have 18. 

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Sep 1, 2018; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians third baseman Josh Donaldson (20) looks on from the dugout during the seventh inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports (Raj Mehta)
Sep 1, 2018; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians third baseman Josh Donaldson (20) looks on from the dugout during the seventh inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports (Raj Mehta)

The Yankees might have to face Josh Donaldson and the Indians in the playoffs, and the Bombers -- along with other teams -- are steamed over the way Donaldson was acquired.

The Indians acquired Donaldson from the Blue Jays on Aug. 31, with the Jays sending $2.7 million to Cleveland to help offset the just under $4 million remaining on Donaldson's salary. 

Now, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic is reporting that the Yankees, Astros, and Red Sox are among the teams unhappy with how the deal went down -- with the Astros having asked the commissioner's office for an explanation. 

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New York Yankees starting pitcher Sonny Gray goes to the dugout in the second inning against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees starting pitcher Sonny Gray goes to the dugout in the second inning against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)

Though he was exiled from the Yankees rotation in July, the Yankees will start RHP Sonny Gray for Tuesday's game against the Minnesota Twins to give other starting pitchers extra rest.

Gray, who last started Game 2 of a doubleheader on Aug. 25, is 1-0 with a 1.15 ERA in his last four outings, allowing two runs, 13 hits and six walks in 15 2/3 innings. In his last start, he threw 6 1/3 scoreless innings against the Orioles.

By having Gray start Tuesday, it pushes Luis Severino to Wednesday and Masahiro Tanaka to Friday. The strategy also would allow for Severino to face the Red Sox twice as the regular season nears its end.

Tags: CC Sabathia, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka
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New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia throws against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning at Safeco Field. (Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia throws against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning at Safeco Field. (Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY Sports)

Dellin Betances allowed the go-ahead run to score in the eighth inning as the Yankees lost the series finale to the Seattle Mariners 3-2 on Sunday at Safeco Field. >> Box score


1) Betances surrendered a leadoff walk to Mitch Haniger, who stole second base. Haniger advanced to third on a sacrifice and scored on Robinson Cano's fielder's choice to shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria.

2) The Yankees scored on Miguel Andujar's RBI double in the first inning and a bases-loaded walk by Andrew McCutchen in the fourth, but went 2-for-15 with runners in scoring position and left nine runners on base.

Tags: CC Sabathia, Dellin Betances, Miguel Andujar, Seattle Mariners
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New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge reacts to a fan in the 11th inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge reacts to a fan in the 11th inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Yankees hope outfielder Aaron Judge can take batting practice toward the end of this week when the team returns home to Yankee Stadium, manager Aaron Boone said prior to Sunday's game.

Judge has continued to hit in the batting cages and field fly balls in the outfield over the past few days as he looks to return from a fractured wrist that has kept him out since late July.

"I think that's possible, that he will get out on the field one of those days," Boone said, according to the New York Daily News' Kristie Ackert. "I gotta look at the schedule with (team trainer) and him, but I think that's the next progression. He's hit in the cage, think there is a chance might get to the field in Minnesota, but I've gotta look."

Tags: Aaron Judge
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Sep 8, 2018; Seattle, WA, USA; New York Yankees designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton (27) hits an RBI sacrifice fly against the Seattle Mariners during the fifth inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Nicholson)
Sep 8, 2018; Seattle, WA, USA; New York Yankees designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton (27) hits an RBI sacrifice fly against the Seattle Mariners during the fifth inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Nicholson)

The Yankees (87-53) will go for the sweep in the series finale of their series with the Mariners on Sunday at 4:10 p.m. at Safeco Field in Seattle.

Yankees Game Notes

The Yankees have won three of their first five games on their nine-game road trip ... The Yankees are 36 games above .500, which matches their season-high mark ... The Yankees could sweep the Mariners with a win, and it would mark the third time in the Yankees' last five series at Safeco Field that they swept the Mariners ... Austin Romine on Saturday became the 10th Yankee to hit 10 home runs in a season, whih ties a franchise record. The Yankees and Blue Jays are both tied for the most players with at least 10 home runs.

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Sep 8, 2018; Seattle, WA, USA; New York Yankees catcher Austin Romine (28) is greeted in the dugout after hitting a solo homer against the Seattle Mariners during the seventh inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Nicholson)
Sep 8, 2018; Seattle, WA, USA; New York Yankees catcher Austin Romine (28) is greeted in the dugout after hitting a solo homer against the Seattle Mariners during the seventh inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Nicholson)

When Austin Romine homered on Saturday, he became the 10th Yankee to hit at least 10 home runs this season -- and if just one more player does the same, the Yankees will tie a major league record.

Romine's 10th home run came in the seventh inning when he hit a solo shot during the Yankees' 4-2 win.

"We've gotten production from a lot of different places, maybe some we didn't even expect coming into the year," manager Aaron Boone said, per Bryan Hoch of MLB.com. "Guys have had to play more. Young guys have taken over significant roles. The fact that we've gotten production from everywhere is a big reason we're having a strong year."

Tags: Austin Romine, Neil Walker
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Sep 8, 2018; Seattle, WA, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Dellin Betances (68) celebrates with catcher Austin Romine (28) after getting the final out of a 4-2 victory against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Nicholson)
Sep 8, 2018; Seattle, WA, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Dellin Betances (68) celebrates with catcher Austin Romine (28) after getting the final out of a 4-2 victory against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Nicholson)

Lance Lynn allowed two runs in six innings, Andrew McCutchen and Austin Romine homered and Dellin Betances worked a hair-raising ninth as the Yankees held off the Mariners, 4-2, on Saturday night in Seattle. >> Box score


What you need to know about Saturday's game

1) Lynn was solid, earning the win after allowing just two runs on three hits and walking no one in six innings. The veteran right-hander struck out two.

2) McCutchen's homer led off the ballgame. It was his second home run as a Yankee and his second in as many days.

3) Romine went deep in the seventh to break a 2-2 tie. With his career-high 10th home run, the catcher become the 10th Yankee to reach double-digit homers this season.

Tags: Austin Romine, CC Sabathia, David Robertson, Dellin Betances, Didi Gregorius, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres
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Aug 21, 2018; Miami, FL, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman (54) pauses on the pitching mound after being injured in the twelfth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Aug 21, 2018; Miami, FL, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman (54) pauses on the pitching mound after being injured in the twelfth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

Yankees LHP Aroldis Chapman played catch on Friday, reports Bryan Hoch of MLB.com.

Chapman, who played catch at 90 feet, has missed time due to knee tendinitis and he received a PRP injection roughly two weeks ago.

Last week, general manager Brian Cashman said he couldn't "tell you with any level of confidence one way or the other" that Chapman would return this season.

Tags: Aroldis Chapman
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New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge heads to the dugout after scoring a run against the Kansas City Royals during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. (Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge heads to the dugout after scoring a run against the Kansas City Royals during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. (Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports)

Yankees OF Aaron Judge hit in the batting cage and fielded fly balls in the outfield on Saturday, reports Bryan Hoch of MLB.com

"We're still continuing on," manager Aaron Boone said of Judge one day after he hit outside for the first time since landing on the DL with a chip fracture in his right wrist.

On Friday, Judge hit off a tee and also participated in three rounds of soft toss from 25 feet with hitting coach Marcus Thames, according to The Post's George A. King III. 

Tags: Aaron Judge
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Sep 7, 2018; Seattle, WA, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Andrew McCutchen (26) is greeted by left fielder Brett Gardner (11) after hitting a two-run homer against the Seattle Mariners during the third inning at Safeco Field. Gardner scored on the hit. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Nicholson)
Sep 7, 2018; Seattle, WA, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Andrew McCutchen (26) is greeted by left fielder Brett Gardner (11) after hitting a two-run homer against the Seattle Mariners during the third inning at Safeco Field. Gardner scored on the hit. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Nicholson)

The Yankees (87-53) will continue their series with the Mariners (78-62) on Saturday at 9:10 p.m. at Safeco Field in Seattle.

Yankees Game Notes

The Yankees are 12-7 in their last 19 games, and 19-11 in their last 30. ...The Yankees currently lead Oakland by 3.5 games for the top Wild Card game slot. They are 9.5 games behind the Red Sox in the division standings. ...Gleyber Torres has reached base safely multiple times in 13 of his last 18 games. Luke Voit leads the MLB with seven homers since Aug. 24. ...Didi Gregorius was reinstated from the DL on Friday.

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Sep 7, 2018; Seattle, WA, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Andrew McCutchen (26) is greeted in the dugout after hitting a two-run homer against the Seattle Mariners during the third inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Nicholson)
Sep 7, 2018; Seattle, WA, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Andrew McCutchen (26) is greeted in the dugout after hitting a two-run homer against the Seattle Mariners during the third inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Nicholson)

Andrew McCutchen hit his first home run with the Yankees on Friday night, as his two-run homer boosted New York's lead in the 3rd against the Mariners in the team's 4-0 win.

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Feb 23, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Luis Severino (40) and pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) share a laugh as they walk to the dugout prior to the game against the Detroit Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Feb 23, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Luis Severino (40) and pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) share a laugh as they walk to the dugout prior to the game against the Detroit Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Masahiro Tanaka has stepped up just when the Yankees needed him most.

With Luis Severino enduring another difficult outing in his last start, Tanaka threw eight scoreless innings with 10 strikeouts on Friday night, leading the Yankees to a 4-0 win over the Mariners in Seattle.

"He's been that way, I feel like, for the past couple of months," Boone said after the game, via Newsday. "He's had a couple of hiccups here and there, but for the most part, he's really started to lock it in. Again, the split finger right from the get-go was a factor, the slider was good, I thought he did a good job of mixing in his fastball . . . He was in complete command out there tonight."

He didn't even think he had his best stuff.

Tags: Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka
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