LOS ANGELES — Aaron Judge was out of the New York Yankees‘ starting lineup Sunday, one day after penetrating the right-field gate at Dodger Stadium to turn in a phenomenal over-the-shoulder catch late in Saturday’s victory. Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Judge’s right foot, mostly in the area of his big toe, was too sore to play.
Judge “seemed a little bit better this afternoon,” Boone added, but keeping him out of the lineup for the series finale against the Los Angeles Dodgers allows them to take advantage of Monday’s off day and give Judge back-to-back days off his feet. Asked if he thinks Judge might have to go on the injured list, Boone said, “Not at this point, but we’ll see how he is today, tomorrow and the next day.”
Nestor Cortes, however, is expected go on the IL.
Cortes, the Yankees’ left-handed starting pitcher, has been battling soreness in his left shoulder that has been slow to recover between starts in recent weeks. Cortes will undergo further testing when the team returns to New York, but Boone doesn’t believe he’ll miss more than one or two turns through the rotation.
“Don’t think it’s anything too major,” Boone said, “but the last couple times, recovering in between, it’s just kinda that achiness.”
Cortes, 28, was an All-Star last year but has struggled to a 5.16 ERA through his first 11 starts this season, most notably giving up a combined 13 runs in nine against the Tampa Bay Rays and the Texas Rangers. Cortes will join Frankie Montas and Carlos Rodon among Yankees starters on the IL. The Yankees will start Clarke Schmidt in Cortes’ place against the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday and are undecided about Wednesday.
Judge, 31, is off to another MVP-caliber start this season, slashing .291/.404/.674 with an American League-leading 19 home runs and 40 RBIs.
His catch on Saturday showed why he can also be a dynamic right fielder.
The Yankees held a two-run lead with one on and none out in the bottom of the eighth when J.D. Martinez, one of the hottest hitters in the sport, uncorked a deep drive to the opposite field. Judge ranged back, stretched out his left arm, secured the catch and ran so hard into the bullpen gate that he lodged the door open, stumbling initially before picking himself up and tossing the baseball back into the infield.
Judge’s feet banged up against a concrete lining that sits under the padded portion of the fence while making the catch. Boone and a couple of the Yankees’ trainers went out to check on him, but Judge waved them off and remained in the game.
“The training staff should’ve come out for the gate — not for Judge,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts quipped.