If the MLB started on time, the New York Yankees would have had two of their biggest stars on the sidelines. Giancarlo Stanton sustained a calf injury during spring training and Aaron Judge was dealing with a rib fracture and a punctured lung. Both of Judge’s injuries are believed to have been suffered on a diving play in right field in September. Not there is really anything good that will come out of the coronavirus pandemic, but the pause on the MLB season could possibly allow both players, as well as a couple of other injured Yankees, to be fully healed if the 2020 season resumes at some point in this calendar year.
Speaking on Tuesday to MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM, manager Aaron Boone said of Judge: “All signs are encouraging there and hopefully have him as part of all this, as well.” This came as news surfaced that Judge was scheduled to have a CT scan in late May. In March, when the Yankees seemingly had an answer for why their star slugger was hurting and missing spring training, the doctors had told Judge to rest and in two weeks check to see if the bone was healing. With baseball shut down on March 12 because of the coronavirus pandemic, Judge has had extra time to let the bone heal. For two months, the Yankees’ updates on his injury have been unclear but indicating that the bone was still healing. On that broadcast, Boone had also stated that “So this time down has allowed that rib, that bone to continue to heal and all signs are encouraging there.”
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Giancarlo Stanton has recovered from the strained calf that sidelined him during the spring and Boone shared in that interview that “he should be good to go whenever we get ready to go back.” It was likely that Stanton would have returned sometime in April if the season had started when scheduled.
James Paxton had lower spinal surgery in February and his recovery has been on schedule as it was estimated that his recovery would last until mid-May. Paxton recently threw a simulated game t and has thrown “five or six” bullpen sessions according to Boone. Paxton was expected to play a major role in the Yankees rotation, especially after Luis Severino was lost for the year due to Tommy John surgery.
Aaron Hicks, who underwent Tommy John surgery after last years season concluded, appears to be on track for the expected late June/early July return. The switch-hitting Hicks has been taking soft toss from both sides of the plate, Boone said and also added that he’s been throwing from 90-plus feet.
Until MLB sets up something firm, Boone said he continues to check in on his players and is confident they will be prepared for whatever this unusual season might have in store.