Aaron Judge might as well have just had the allergy attack heard ’round the world.
After not appearing for the Yankees’ spring-training finale on Monday, manager Aaron Boone told YES Network that Judge was feeling “under the weather,” prompting the slugger to undergo COVID protocols just before Thursday’s Opening Day.
Later on Monday, general manager Brian Cashman eased any worries that Judge might not be ready to go for the start of the 2021 season.
“The pollen down here in Florida is pretty bad at times,” he said. “It gets the best of any of us. [Judge] is not the first of us to deal with it and won’t be the last at camp but obviously, when his name is expected to be in the lineup and it’s not, it raises the appropriate questions and concerns.”
The last thing the Yankees want heading into the season is dealing with any possible hurdle that could keep Judge out of the lineup. The 28-year-old has been injury-prone throughout the last three seasons, missing a combined 138 games.
“Any little issue that’s conveyed, you kind of react a little larger to,” Cashman said of Judge’s health. “We had him through all the protocols and thankfully, we’ve eliminated all the stuff other than, now and then, you come up not feeling very well.
“He’s fine. I talked to him on the phone but thankfully, he’s smart enough to share that he didn’t wake up feeling that great. Over the last day or so, we ran through the protocols to make sure we weren’t in a worse spot, and thankfully we’re not.”
Latest on Voit, Wilson, Britton
Cashman also provided updates on three Yankees who have been sidelined due to injuries.
Luke Voit, who led Major League Baseball last season with 23 home runs, underwent surgery on Monday to repair a partially torn meniscus in his left knee.
In the bullpen, reliever Justin Wilson will start the season on the injured list after he ran into a shoulder issue earlier this month.
“He’s doing really well,” Cashman said. “But it’s one of the circumstances because he’s a pitcher, we’ve mapped out about getting him his bullpens… it bleeds into the start of the season. Physically, he feels ready to go.”
As for Zack Britton, the consensus is that he will be able to rejoin the Yankees by late-May or early-June, though Cashman admitted that he doesn’t “have a timeframe.”
Britton underwent arthroscopic surgery on his elbow earlier this month.
“I know he’s doing well and feeling well,” he added. “He’s going through post-surgical physical therapy, but there’s nothing more to add on him right now.”