Aaron Judge progressing toward Yankees 2020 opening day lineup

Aaron Judge, New York Yankees. (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
Aaron Judge, New York Yankees. (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images) /

New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge is on the comeback trail from a rib fracture, diagnosed this spring. Reports have him hitting off a tee at Legends Field in Tampa.

As reported on earlier in the week by Newsday’s Eric Boland, New York Yankees star right fielder, Aaron Judge has been hitting off a batting tee in Florida. It’s a big step in Judge’s return to active duty from a fractured rib. The Bronx Bombers will need him to contend for their 28th World Series Championship in 2020.

When Aaron Judge started missing preseason games, the Yankees faithful had a familiar sick feeling in the collective pit of their stomach as they thought here we go again. It turned out Judge had a hard to find microfracture on one of his right ribs as a result of diving for a flyball last September. An injury he aggravated the injury during spring training in March. Besides, to the rib, tests found Judge also had a partially collapsed lung.

There are those injuries that, after either experience or investigation, are more serious than they sound. For example, after personally suffering through plantar fasciitis, how Eli Manning gutted out the 2009 season with the same injury is an absolute marvel to me. Try reading up on what a high ankle sprain really is; it will take the self-satisfied smile off of any critic who calls an athlete soft when he suffers one. It’s the same with turf-toe or a Lisfrank fracture.

New York Yankees fans have marveled at Judge’s powerful swing since he first came up to the Bronx in 2016. Now going over videos of Judge’s mechanics at the plate, while taking into consideration his current injury, one thing stands out.

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His hip rotation through the hitting motion is so strong that it puts tremendous torque on the upper core. Muscles and ligaments around his rib cage come under severe strain. The amount of pain this injury caused every time he tried to swing a bat this spring had to be excruciating.

Judge is now reportedly hitting off a tee at the Yankees facility in Tampa. For how long, we don’t know. When he will take the next step and face some light pitching is unknown as well. If he is swinging pain-free, it means Judge could be ready for the start of the season in four weeks from now.

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Do you think Aaron Judge will be in the New York Yankees lineup on opening day? Let us know in the comments section below or on social media.