Yanks’ Judge on track for opening day after shoulder surgery

BOSTON, MA - JULY 16: Aaron Judge #99 of the New York reacts in the fourth inning of game one of a doubleheader against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on July 16, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

TAMPA, Fla.  — Yankees slugger Aaron Judge took batting practice for the first time since left shoulder surgery and said he is on track to play on opening day.

Judge hit a rookie record 52 home runs last year and was a unanimous pick for AL Rookie of the Year. He said the shoulder started to bother him around the All-Star break but he did not have any injections of painkiller. He refuses to attribute a lengthy slump to the injury.

He is a centerpiece of the Baby Bombers’ batting order along with catcher Gary Sanchez, a lineup boosted by the acquisition of major league home run champion Giancarlo Stanton from the Miami Marlins. New manager Aaron Boone plans to have Stanton and Judge — both right fielders — work out in left, and anticipates using the designated hitter spot to rotate players.