TAMPA — Eventually there will be a resolution why Aaron Judge not only hasn’t appeared in an exhibition game but has not taken batting practice outside of an indoor cage.
Since it is possible Judge isn’t done with tests on his right pectoral muscle, there isn’t any clarity about when the Yankees will talk about the outcome.
“Until it’s all done and wrapped up it doesn’t make sense [to address it],’’ GM Brian Cashman said Wednesday night before the Yankees hosted the Phillies and former manager Joe Girardi at George M. Steinbrenner Field. “Hopefully, sooner than later.’’
Cashman did say the number of tests has increased which is an indication the early tests didn’t provide enough answers or the later tests unearthed something that required further looks.
“Not one or two, approaching seven to 10 tests total so they can make sure they can have a full evaluation of what ails him,’’ Cashman said. “When they are complete we can tell you we are in the clear or [have] a full diagnosis and a time frame.’’
Because Judge hasn’t swung a bat outdoors since before camp opened and the tests haven’t unearthed a definitive problem, there is a possibility a test will eventually deliver bad news.
Positive by nature, Aaron Boone isn’t allowing the fear of something serious being wrong with Judge to dominate his thoughts.
“I don’t know, I guess I am not wired that way,’’ Boone said. “When we know exactly what is going on we will put the right course in action and deal with it.’’
Until then, the Yankees chug along in the meat of the exhibition schedule not only without Judge but Giancarlo Stanton as well. Stanton is sidelined by a Grade 1 strained right calf and won’t be ready for Opening Day.
It’s also a solid bet Judge won’t be available to Boone on March 26 when the Yankees open the season in Baltimore.
Asked about dealing with the unknown of Judge’s situation, Boone said there has been a degree of difficulty.
“It’s been hard just not getting a conclusion what exactly is going on,’’ Boone said. “I feel like we are getting close to that, probably have something for [the media] in the next day or so. For Aaron it has been frustrating. Like all of us, we want to get to the bottom of it and get answers and know what we need to do for him.’’
Since Cashman said Tuesday the trade market doesn’t normally take shape until after the June draft, the Yankees will look at Clint Frazier and Miguel Andujar in the outfield. They don’t need an answer on Mike Tauchman since they were very satisfied with what the left-handed hitter did last year when he played all three outfield positions.
“He is comfortable in all spots. [Tauchman], as much as anyone I feel on a given day, ‘Hey, you are in right, you are in left, you are in center,’ ” Boone said. “He is good to go. His versatility plays and obviously he is a great outfielder.’’
Frazier has experience in right and left field, and with Andujar getting a crash course in left, Frazier could fill in for Judge in right.
“I’ll have [Frazier] playing in both,’’ Boone said of left and right. “We are working [Andujar] in left right now and that is what we are focusing on but I feel comfortable with Clint in any spot.’’
The longer the Judge saga continues, comfortable isn’t the feeling you get concerning the right fielder who has played in 214 of a possible 324 games the past two years due to injuries.