NEW YORK — Before any of the Yankees had emerged from the dugout on Wednesday afternoon to begin stretching for New York's workout, Aaron Judge emerged, briefly standing on the top step to examine the diamond.
For a moment a few days ago, it seemed like Judge's availability for opening day was in jeopardy. He was scratched from Monday's lineup in the Yankees' spring training finale, sitting out for the third game in a row.
Nonetheless, Judge proved on Wednesday that he's turned the corner after feeling "under the weather" at the conclusion of camp.
"He's good to go," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said following the workout at Yankee Stadium. "Judgey looks great and feels great. He's ready to go."
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman revealed on Monday that a bad case of seasonal allergies kept Judge off the field on the club's final day in Tampa. Mix in the league's extensive COVID-19 protocols, after Judge reported symptoms to the team, and the best option for precautionary reasons was for Judge to stay home.
The 28-year-old participated in every part of Wednesday's workout. He clobbered home runs in batting practice, shagged fly balls in right and threw with his teammates while everyone got loose.
The slugger wasn't among the position players that faced left-handers Jordan Montgomery and Aroldis Chapman during their sim games earlier in the morning, but only a select few Yankees did get a chance to hit live.
Any doubts regarding Judge's status for opening day have been stamped out. Barring any unforeseen circumstances leading up to first pitch on Thursday afternoon, No. 99 will jog out to right field in pinstripes with the rest of New York's starting lineup for what should be an exciting and emotional opening day.
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