Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Friday that the team is unsure of if or when Aaron Judge will take outside batting practice, which would be the next step in the star right fielder's recovery timeline from a shoulder issue that has slowed his start at spring training.
Later, Boone told YES Network that Judge has had a 'number of tests' performed on his shoulder, including an MRI, with all coming back negative. He will have another test on Monday.
Judge was healthy upon reporting Feb. 17 to George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida, but he had what the Yankees described as a "minor right shoulder problem" flare up and sidelined him the following day.
Boone revealed Feb. 18 that the Yankees would hold Judge out for at least the first spring training game. Ten days later, Judge remained out of action, with Newsday reporting that the Yankees are still mulling the 27-year-old slugger's return timeline.
"I don't know, we'll see," Boone said Friday, according to Newsday's Erik Boland and David Lennon, when asked about the possibility that Judge takes outside batting practice at any point over the weekend. "He hit in the cage again (Thursday), so we have to see how (he responds). It was his first time hitting live. I've got to see what he's doing this morning and what the next step is."
A two-time All-Star selection from 2017-18, Judge missed extended time in '19 due to injuries, but still showed how impactful he can be in the Yankees' lineup by slashing .272/.381/.540 with 27 home runs and 55 RBI through 102 games.
"This is the progression," Boone said Friday after the Yankees' 5-3 win over the Braves at Cool Today Park in North Port, Florida. "So it's tee-and-toss, then seeing pitching in the cage (which took place Friday with a coach throwing batting practice), then eventually getting outside and then starting getting into games."