Yankees Notebook: Aaron Judge again in No. 2 gap


CLEVELAND — Aaron Judge is again in his consolation zone. After main in 36 video games this season, the Yankees slugger, who has gotten off to a gradual begin within the playoffs, was dropped to the No. 2 spot within the Bombers’ batting order for Saturday night time’s Game 3 of the American League Division Series in opposition to the Guardians at Progressive Field.

“Just kind of woke up on it. I just did not want to have all the focus on the first at-bat of the game, and settle in,” Yankees supervisor Aaron Boone mentioned earlier than the sport. “I really feel like we’re somewhat extra entire than we have been even 10 days in the past. As far as the place [Giancarlo Stanton] is now, Gleyber [Torres] and [Anthony] Rizzo for that matter. So I simply really feel prefer it’s extra doable now.

“I mean, without DJ [LeMahieu] and without [Andrew Benintendi], we don’t really have the ideal leadoff hitter other than Judge, Boone said. “So I just felt like I wanted to get him there and that two-hole for a minute.”

Boone admitted there was some a part of it that was a response to Judge’s 0-for-8 with seven strikeouts within the first two video games of the collection. Judge, who performed 55 of the Yankees final 56 video games as he broke the American League and Yankee single-season residence run report, has his leadoff 114 instances in his profession and spent 427 within the second spot.

Saturday night time, Torres led off and Judge was again within the spot the place he had hit most of his profession. Without LeMahieu, the Yankees typical leadoff hitter who’s battling a foot damage, Boone toyed with the concept of main off slugger Anthony Rizzo.

“I like Rizzo behind Judge, I don’t really love [switch-hitting Oswaldo] Cabrera nine and Rizzo one like then just going with eight righties in a row,” Boone defined.

Judge mentioned after Friday night time’s loss that his timing is off. He wouldn’t blame the heavy workload as he chased Roger Maris’ report, nor the lengthy layoff created by MLB’s new playoff format that gave the Yankees a bye and one recreation in 9 days.

Friday was the primary time Judge hadn’t reached base since August 28 in Oakland snapping a 34-game on-base streak. Judge has not reached base in consecutive video games simply as soon as this season again on June 24 and 25 in opposition to the Astros.

He is being pitched largely the identical as he was within the second half of the season, seeing barely extra breaking balls and about 5% fewer fastballs. His chase price is up about 5% too.

But it would simply be the Guardians. Of all of the pitches he has seen on this collection, none have been a miss to his wheelhouse; middle-middle. And he has a historical past of struggling in opposition to Cleveland, slashing .182/.316/.386 with six residence runs in 37 profession video games. He’s simply 2-37 (.054) with one homer and 27 strikeouts in 9 postseason video games in opposition to them.


Oswaldo Cabrera was again beginning in left subject Saturday night time, regardless of going 0-for-8 with 5 strikeouts. The rookie has not appeared overmatched to Boone although.

“He’s in the fight. Yesterday was a tough day. It really was and they can really pitch like I thought [Trevor] Stephan came in and executed so well yesterday. I thought he was terrific,” Boone mentioned. “But I’m not worried about Waldo. I think he’s fine. He’s gotten in some good decent counts and lost out.”

Cabrera went by an identical adjustment interval when he first got here as much as the large leagues, Boone famous. They like the best way he works his approach out of it.

“Our feel with him has always been that — and part of the reason is that first month. There were a couple weeks there when he was playing regularly and doing really well for us defensively, where he wasn’t really hitting yet. But to me, to my eye, I was seeing a guy that was not overmatched, that was having the right at-bats. Just wasn’t getting results yet,” Boone mentioned.

“And then, you know, we saw him really take off in the month of September. So he’s shown us at every step that he’s not overwhelmed by anything so I think he’s totally cut out for this and equipped for this and confident he’ll go out there and put together some good at-bats for us.”

The Yankees are restricted in left subject. Boone mentioned he would “think about,” utilizing Giancarlo Stanton, who handled a leg damage within the second half, in left subject probably on Sunday. He additionally mentioned he’s not but snug with Matt Carpenter, simply returned from lacking two months with a fractured foot, within the outfield but.


Kyle Higashioka bought his first begin of the collection Saturday night time. The catcher, who misplaced time to Jose Trevino within the first half of the season, completed the yr off solidly.  Higashioka has been the higher hitter within the second (.299/.317/.485 with 5 homers and 16 RBI) — particularly down the stretch.

He additionally caught Saturday’s starter, Luis Severino, when he pitched seven no-hit innings in his final begin.

“Higgy’s gonna play some. I feel like they’re gonna share this a little bit. I want Trevi tomorrow with Gerrit [Cole],” Boone mentioned. “Higgy’s actually swung the bat properly, the final actually month or two to earn some alternatives you understand, he bought Saturday’s no-hitter final time like they have been collectively for that. That didn’t damage.

“I just felt like today was the day to get Higgy in there.”



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