Yanks star Judge has broken rib, return to lineup uncertain


Now the New York Yankees know what’s wrong with Aaron Judge. As to when he’ll be OK to play, no telling.

Judge has a broken rib and it’s uncertain whether he will need surgery, leaving doubt when he can return to the lineup.

Manager Aaron Boone said he thought the star right fielder hurt himself making a diving catch late last season.

Judge will rest two weeks while recovering from the stress fracture to his first right rib. He hasn’t played in any spring training games while dealing with soreness in his right pectoral muscle and shoulder.

Judge underwent about a dozen tests, including and MRI plus CT and bone scans, to determine the source of his pain.

“It shows signs of healing so we’re going to give it the next couple and re-test to show how much healing is going on with that rib,” Boone said.

Removal of the bone is a possibility, depending on the healing process.

“I wouldn’t say that’s off the table, but you wouldn’t want to go do that right now especially if the bone is healing,” Boone said.

Since winning the 2017 AL Rookie of the Year award, Judge has been limited to 112 games in 2018 because of a broken right wrist and to 102 games last year due to a strained left oblique.

The Yankees already were minus outfielders Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Hicks. Stanton strained his right calf last month during defensive drills and will miss opening day on March 26. Hicks had Tommy John surgery on his right elbow on Oct. 31 and is not expected back until summer.

Elsewhere in the Grapefruit and Cactus leagues:


Charlie Culberson hit a go-ahead, bases-loaded triple in the eighth inning. Austin Riley homered. Kyle Wright made his first start, pitching 3 1/3 innings and allowing two runs on three hits and two walks while striking out five.

Eduardo Rodriguez made his second spring start for Boston, pitching four innings and allowing two runs on three hits while striking out four.


Jake Arrieta threw four hitless innings for Philadelphia. Abrahan Gutierrez, a 20-year-old catching prospect, hit a grand slam and Nick Martini followed with a home run.

Spencer Turnbull allowed one run on a hit and two walks in his third start, pitching three innings and striking out three. Detroit’s only hits were singles by C.J. Cron and Jody Mercer.


Max Kepler doubled and had an RBI single for Minnesota. Trevor Larnach hit his third home run. Jhoulys Chacin, competing for a rotation spot as a non-roster invitee, made his second start, allowing two runs on three hits and a walk in three innings.

Yonny Chirinos started for a third time for Tampa Bay, pitching three scoreless innings on two hits. Joey Wendle hit his second home run.


Colin Moran hit one of Pittsburgh’s eight home runs. Chris Archer started for the first time, pitching two scoreless innings and allowing a hit and a walk while striking out four.

Joe Panik and Randal Grichuk homered for Toronto. Chase Anderson was tagged in his third start, yielding six runs on seven hits and a walk. Anderson has given up 11 runs in 5 2/3 innings for a 17.47 ERA this spring.


Christian Yelich saw his first spring action, going 0 for 3 with a strikeout one day after signing a nine-year $215 million contract for Milwaukee. Keston Hiura hit his third home run of the spring and added an RBI single. Lorenzo Cain had an RBI single and is batting .500 this spring. . Josh Lindblom made his second start, surrendering three runs on three hits in four innings, striking out five.

Kevin Gausman made his third start for San Francisco, pitching three innings and allowing a run on two hits.


Jared Walsh homered for Los Angeles’ split squad and Max Stassi had two hits.

Salvador Perez hit a two-run homer for Kansas City’s split squad. Top left-handed pitching prospect Daniel Lynch made his first start and gave up a run on a hit and two walks, retiring two batters.


Mike Trout homered for the first time this spring – a three-run shot – for Los Angeles’ split squad. Anthony Rendon had a hit and is batting .417 this spring. Shohei Ohtani went 0 for 2 with a walk and is hitting .083.

Nicky Lopez doubled twice for Kansas City’s split squad. Top pitching prospect Brady Singer, who has a shot at cracking the starting rotation, threw two scoreless innings in his first start.


Chad Pinder had two for Oakland. Carlos Santana and Jordan Luplow connected for Cleveland. Shane Bieber was stellar in his third start for the Indians, tossing four shutout innings on two hits with seven strikeouts. Bieber has yet to allow a run this spring and will start the team’s regular-season opener.


Newcomer Shogo Akiyama had two hits, scoring a run for Cincinnati. Matt Davidson hit a three-run homer. Wade Miley struggled in his second start, surrendering four runs on two hits and four walks in 2 1/3 innings.

Sean Manea was roughed up in his third start for Oakland’s split squad, allowing four runs on four hits in three innings. Manea struck out six. Matt Olson and Ramon Laureano both homered.


Ryan McMahon hit a pair of two-run homers for Colorado. Daniel Murphy had two hits, scoring twice. German Marquez made his second start, yielding two runs on three hits and a walk in three innings.

Nick Ahmed homered for Arizona. David Peralta, who signed a three-year, $22 million contact in the offseason, went 0 for 3 and is batting .077 this spring.


Yoan Moncada had three hits, driving in a run and scoring for the White Sox. Moncada signed a $70 million, five-year deal earlier in the day. Ace Lucas Giolito made his first start, pitching a perfect inning with a strikeout.

Jon Lester made his third start for the Cubs, pitching 2 2/3 innings and allowing a run on four hits and two walks while striking out six. Kyle Schwarber singled and stole his second base.

The game drew a Cactus League-record crowd of 16,095 to the Cubs’ home at Sloan Park.


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New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge speaks at a news conferece after a spring training baseball workout Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)