The New York Yankees will finally get their captain back. They reportedly plan to activate right fielder Aaron Judge Friday for their series opener against the Baltimore Orioles.
This is all “barring a late setback,” according to the New York Post.
Judge has not played since he injured his toe making a highlight-reel catch against the Los Angeles Dodgers June 3.
He’s been rehabbing the sprain in his toe in Tampa, and all reports coming out of the Yankees’ facility there have been positive.
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Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees takes batting practice at Yankee Stadium July 23, 2023, in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Al Bello/Getty Images)
The Post added that Judge wanted to be made available for the series with the New York Mets, which finishes Wednesday, but the team would rather be cautious because it has a day off Thursday before facing the O’s on the road.
Judge returning couldn’t come at a better time for a Yankees team that has struggled offensively since he’s been on the injured list. The Yankees are second to last in team batting average at .230 on the year, and their .708 OPS is 22nd in MLB.
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Since Judge has been out, the Yankees have gone 18-23, and despite still being above .500 at 53-48, they are dead last in the AL East, nine games behind first-place Baltimore.
Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees takes batting practice with live pitching prior to a game against the Kansas City Royals at Yankee Stadium July 23, 2023, in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Al Bello/Getty Images)
But not all hope is lost if the Yankees wish to get into the postseason. They are only 2½ games back of a wild-card spot, something they owned before Judge went down. With their MVP back in the saddle, perhaps the offense will get a jolt from No. 99.
Judge was picking up where he left off from a season in which he hit a single-season American League record 62 home runs.
He was named an All-Star for the third straight year, but he didn’t travel to Seattle for the festivities to continue his rehab after slashing .291/.404/.674 with a 1.078 OPS, 19 homers and 40 RBI over 49 games to start the year.
Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees takes batting practice before a game against the Kansas City Royals at Yankee Stadium July 21, 2023, in the Bronx borough of New York City. The Yankees defeated the Royals 5-4. (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
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The Bronx Bombers will hope Judge can rejuvenate a slumping bunch.
Scott Thompson is a sports writer for Fox News Digital.