Aaron Judge’s “All-Star break” came early.
The Yankees slugger won’t get the real one next week, since he will be starting for the American League in the Midsummer Classic at Dodger Stadium. But he was out of the starting lineup Tuesday after a full day off on Monday, because manager Aaron Boone wanted to get him back-to-back days off.
Judge’s absence from the lineup initially raised concerns because he had sat out on Thursday in Boston because of calf soreness. Both Judge and Boone, however, said the outfielder is past that.
“I would say he’s kind of through it a little bit,” Boone said before Judge struck out pinch hitting for Joey Gallo in the ninth inning of the Yankees’ 4-3 loss to the Reds in The Bronx. “I just felt like we’re going to take advantage of this off day, with the idea of playing him five straight into the All-Star [break]. Just being cautious with it and striking that balance between the urgency of the day and the long game here. Just trying to be smart with that.”
Judge likened the back-to-back days off to a pseudo All-Star break.
“I won’t be getting much of a break [next week],” Judge said. “So I think it’s just them saying, ‘We can take two days now. It’ll be your All-Star break and then let’s go get ’em.’ ”
Ron Marinaccio threw a 25-pitch bullpen session on Tuesday, his first since he landed on the injured list with shoulder inflammation on July 3.
The reliever, who had not given up a run over his previous 15 ¹/₃ innings before going on the IL, said he is feeling stronger every day.
“That was my first time getting a cortisone shot, so I didn’t know what to expect,” Marinaccio said. “I wasn’t feeling so great that past weekend, so in a little quick time, only taking five days off, I was pleasantly surprised with how I was feeling.”
The Yankees have yet to determine whether Marinaccio will need to go on a rehab assignment. But he has used the time off to tinker with his mechanics, which he said likely led to the shoulder issue.
Gerrit Cole, who gave up no runs on four hits and struck out 11 and left with a 3-0 lead before closer Clay Holmes allowed four runs in the ninth, is unlikely to pitch in the All-Star Game next Tuesday if he starts the final game before the break, on Sunday against the Red Sox, which he is currently scheduled to do.
“If he goes Sunday, probably not,” Boone said.
Jonathan Loaisiga (shoulder inflammation), made his second rehab appearance Tuesday night at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, allowing a run on three hits, with two strikeouts in one inning. He threw 19 of his 23 pitches for strikes. It’s possible he now will rejoin the Yankees bullpen.
Catcher Ben Rortvedt also began a rehab assignment on Tuesday with High-A Hudson Valley, eight weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery to repair a partially torn meniscus. He went 0-for-2 with a walk in five innings.
It is his second rehab assignment this season. His first, when he was working back from a strained oblique he had been dealing with since spring training, was cut short by knee discomfort.
Former Yankees reliever Luis Cessa, who was traded to the Reds last summer, spent some time before the game Tuesday catching up with his former teammates and coaches.