Game 102: Post-Judge Day No. 1

The Yankees will be without Aaron Judge for three weeks, and that timer starts with tonight’s game with Kansas City.

CC Sabathia will make his 19th start of the season, and his second against the Royals. He lasted just five innings May 18, allowing four runs (two earned) on five hits and four walks. He continues to be holding down the back end of the Yankees rotation, however, pitching to a 3.28 ERA in his last eight starts (dating back to June 5). The Yankees are 5-3 in those outings.

The Yankees get their second look at right Brad Keller, who pitched in relief in that May 18 game. He threw an 11-pitch eighth inning and recorded a strikeout of Aaron Hicks. In nine starts (since May 30), he is 2-3 with a 3.75 ERA. He delivered a solid outing against Minnesota on July 22, giving up three runs on three hits with eight strikeouts.

Giancarlo Stanton slides into the No. 2 spot in the batting order, where Judge started 97 games this season. The Yankees will keep Neil Walker‘s hot bat in the lineup, starting him once again at the hot corner. The much maligned veteran is slashing .311/.407/.444 (133 wRC+) since July 1.


Pre-Game Notes:

  • J.A. Happ‘s flight to New York had some weather-related issues, so he has not reported to the team yet. He’s scheduled to start Sunday, and I’m guessing he’s activated tomorrow. He’ll wear No. 34 for the Yankees.
  • Tyler Wade is back, and will be the team’s primary fourth outfielder in Judge’s absence. That doesn’t seem to bode well for Shane Robinson, who was selected to the active roster last night. He could be designated for assignment tomorrow if, in fact, that is when Happ is to be activated.
  • Jacoby Ellsbury has not begun baseball activities. Shocker! He’s not an option to replace Judge. Clint Frazier has been sent to Tampa to continue his rehab from post-concussion migraines. If he can get himself comfortably into playing shape, he could put himself in a position to make an impact.
  • There seems to have been some confusion with Judge’s prognosis. Everyone (myself included) believed the three-week timeline mentioned by the Yankees would be entirely downtime. It turns out that Judge could be back in the lineup in three weeks, and not just beginning rehab games at that point. Aaron Boone said Judge could be taking dry swings in about a week and a half. Encouraging stuff.

Royals Lineup:

  1. Whit Merrifield – CF
  2. Rosell Herrera – RF
  3. Mike Moustakas – 3B
  4. Salvador Pérez – C
  5. Jorge Bonifacio – LF
  6. Lucas Duda – DH
  7. Hunter Dozier – 1B
  8. Alcides Escobar – SS
  9. Adalberto Mondesí – 2B

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