Where Yankees’ Juan Soto stands as injury becomes clearer

NEW YORK — Aaron Judge left Yankee Stadium on Thursday night with some anxiety after star outfielder Juan Soto was pulled with forearm discomfort. The New York Yankees then announced Soto would undergo imaging Friday afternoon to rule out a worst-case scenario.

“Yeah, there’s a little unknown, but all you can do is say a prayer and hope for the best,” Judge said of his reaction to Soto’s initial diagnosis. “He’s a big part of this team. We’ve seen it all year. He comes up in big moments. He plays great defense, a great clubhouse guy. It’s tough not having him out there, but I’ll take this one game over missing a full season.”

Soto did not play in the Yankees’ 11-inning 2-1 loss Friday night to the Los Angeles Dodgers. But the day still felt like a win for the organization, especially after learning Soto would avoid the injured list.

“We all were pretty relieved when we found out it was just inflammation,” Judge said.

Soto spoke with reporters after Friday’s game to give an update on his status. Here’s what he had to say.

Where he stands

Soto’s streak of 227 consecutive games played ended Friday. But there were a couple of moments when it appeared Soto would get a plate appearance.

He stood at the top step of the dugout with a bat in his hands and his helmet on the ground next to him. It was all a decoy. Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Soto was not an option off the bench. Before the game, Boone said it was possible he could use Soto. Still, there was some level of deception involved to make the Dodgers fear the looming possibility of an American League MVP candidate getting inserted into the game at any moment.

Ultimately, Soto did not do any baseball activity Friday. He didn’t take any swings or throws. He spent pregame getting treatment on his forearm and tried staying engaged with his teammates in the dugout. In one moment, Soto was spotted showing off his dance moves to Carlos Rodón and Oswaldo Cabrera. Other moments were spent talking with hitting coaches James Rowson and Pat Roessler.

“It’s always tough to watch the game from the bench,” Soto said. “I want to be out there to try to win a game with my teammates. I try to enjoy the moment, but it is what it is. We’ve got to take what we have right now and keep moving forward.”

How he feels

Soto said he felt relieved after visiting with doctors. For nearly two weeks, the 25-year-old had been waking up with soreness in his upper forearm and then quelling it with treatment from the Yankees’ training staff before playing later that night. Now, he knew exactly what was wrong with him.

“I don’t think I’ll have to be grinding through it the whole year if we do the right thing, and if we do it the right way,” he said.

Soto said doctors took imaging of his elbow and forearm. The tests came back clean.

“I was trying to see what was really going on in my elbow,” he said. “We were having a little bit of thinking of what it was going to be like and how it was going to come out. Thank God it came out our way.”

Still, it appeared Soto was anxious. He was constantly in motion in the Yankees dugout. He almost had to remind himself to slow it down.

“We have a plan of what we’re going to do throughout these days,” Soto said. “(There were) tough moments. I’m trying to be out there for my teammates.”

When he might play again

Asked after Friday’s loss when Soto might play again, Boone said he didn’t know. Earlier in the day, the manager speculated that Soto could have been an option Friday, though he clearly wasn’t. He also speculated that Soto could wind up sitting all weekend.

Soto was asked whether he had a timeframe for his return.

“We will see for the next couple of days how I will feel,” he said. “We’re going day by day and (we’ll) see how I’m feeling.”

Soto played in all 162 regular-season games last year for the San Diego Padres, who traded him to the Yankees in the offseason. He had also played in all 64 of the Yankees’ games this season before Friday. He takes pride in playing every day, and he knows that with free agency looming, he might wind up with a bigger payday with juicier stats. To do that, he might want to rack up as many games as possible.

(Photo of Juan Soto watching from the top step of the dugout as DJ LeMahieu bats in the ninth inning Friday: Brad Penner / USA Today)

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top