Coley HarveyESPN Staff WriterClose
- Previously covered Florida State for Orlando Sentinel and Georgia Tech for Macon Telegraph
- Northwestern University graduate
TAMPA, Fla. — With his once-broken wrist fully healed, New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge is reporting to spring training camp this week in peak physical condition, according to manager Aaron Boone.
“He’s as healthy as he’s been probably since he’s been in the big leagues,” Boone said Sunday.
As he addressed reporters on the eve of position players reporting to the team’s complex, Boone added that Judge will be coming to George M. Steinbrenner Field feeling dramatically better than he did this time a year ago.
Last spring, Judge was in the final stages of his recovery from offseason shoulder surgery. The star outfielder was eased into practices and even held out of or limited in the first few games of spring training.
That won’t be the case this spring.
“He’s so much further ahead of the game from where he was last year,” Boone said. “A lot of his winter [last year] was poured into the rehab of the shoulder.”
That arthroscopic shoulder surgery came in the weeks after Judge’s Rookie of the Year 2017 season in which he hit 52 home runs.
“This year, it’s been about having a normal offseason, getting his body into excellent position. When you talk to him, I think he’s really excited of where his shoulder is at right now, certainly compared to this time last year,” Boone said. “The maintenance he’s had to do on it really the last couple of years, feels like, in a lot of ways, he’s through that.”
Judge also is through with any lingering effects of the wrist injury that sidelined him for nearly two months late last season, Boone said. Judge suffered a chip fracture in his right wrist and missed nearly eight weeks after being hit by a 94 mph pitch on July 26.
Once he was cleared to return Sept. 14, Judge went 9-for-41 with a double and a homer in the final two weeks of the regular season. He erupted in the postseason, though, batting .421 (8-for-19) with three home runs, four RBIs and a 1.447 OPS in five playoff games.