Yankees sophomore sensation Aaron Judge is still feeling pain when he swings a bat, per a tweet from Marc Carig of The Athletic. Certainly there’s still time for him to regain his health and strength in advance of the postseason (we still have three weeks until October, after all), but the news has to be disconcerting both for the Yankees organization and for Judge himself. The outfielder has been out of commission since July 26th after sustaining a chip fracture in his wrist, and though it was reported as recently as yesterday that he could be nearing a return after he was able to participate in on-field drills, the news that his pain level (still describes as a “4” on a 1-10 scale) casts some doubt on the notion that he could be back on the field within the next week or so.
- Corey Seager expects to play shortstop for the Dodgers next year, as he tells Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. Seager has had massive misfortune this year in regards to injuries; he suffered a UCL injury early on in the season that required the infamous Tommy John procedure, and had to undergo a second procedure on his hip soon thereafter. Recently, though, he’s expressed confidence in his recovery from these surgeries. Seager is already off of crutches, and he looks forward to resuming a throwing program next month. “Based to this point, I’ll be ready to go,” Seager said. “I should, ’quote unquote,’ have a pretty normal spring. It will probably be a little slow in the beginning, but should be pretty normal.”
- In light of the Rays’ success with creativity this season, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times details some of the most interesting aspects of the club’s strategy in 2018. Carig explores various aspects of the club’s advances back to contention, highlighted by the purging of veterans in order to bring focus to a new, young core. The coming out parties for players like Jake Bauers and Joey Wendle have been fun to watch, to be sure. But equally interesting has been their improvements in much broader aspects of the game: a few mentioned by Carig include the team’s improvement on the hard contact and line drive front, trimming of strikeouts, spike in batting average, and, of course, the adoption and implementation of the “opener” strategy.