TAMPA, Fla. — New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge has a broken rib and it’s not clear whether he will need surgery, leaving doubt when he’ll be back in the lineup.

Manager Aaron Boone said he thought the star right fielder hurt himself making a diving catch late last season.

“Frustrated, especially with an injury that happened at the end of last year and still didn’t heal up,” Judge said. “At least we have an answer, so now we can start working on a solution. Overall, I’m just mad. I want to be out there with my team, especially in spring training. We’ve got a good team here, a good club. and we’ve got a lot of goals here in 2020.”

Judge will rest two weeks while recovering from the stress fracture to his first right rib. He hasn’t played in any spring training games while dealing with soreness in his right pectoral muscle and shoulder and has no timeline for a return.

“I want to be out there. but the first thing is you’ve got to this healed, get this right and then you can move forward,” Judge said. “The biggest thing is, I want the pain to go away and get this healed up.”

RED SOX: Eduardo Rodriguez made his second spring start for Boston, pitching four innings and allowing two runs on three hits while striking out four as the Red Sox lost to the Braves, 7-5.

Rusney Castillo had two hits for Boston.

ANGELS: Los Angeles fired longtime visiting clubhouse manager Brian “Bubba” Harkins for allegedly aiding opposing pitchers in obtaining illegal substances to put on baseballs, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press on Thursday night.

The Angels confirmed Harkins’ dismissal Thursday night to The Associated Press. Harkins was fired Tuesday while the Angels are in Arizona for spring training.

Major League Baseball has been cracking down this spring on the use of pine tar and other substances pitchers use to get a better grip on the ball. Such practices, including a popular concoction from sunscreen and resin, have technically been outlawed for years, but those rules had been enforced sparingly.

The Angels moved immediately to dismiss Harkins after learning of his actions in previous seasons, the source told the AP.

He has worked at Angel Stadium for most of the past four decades. He started out as a batboy with the Angels. He eventually became a clubhouse attendant in the 1980s, and he has been in his current job in the visitors’ clubhouse since 1990.

INDIANS: Outfielder Oscar Mercado will undergo an MRI on Friday on his left wrist, which he injured while making a diving catch in an exhibition game.

Manager Terry Francona said Mercado, who had a solid rookie season in 2019, got hurt when he caught a ball hit by San Francisco’s Alex Dickerson in the fourth inning of Thursday’s game in Scottsdale. The 25-year-old did not return, and the Indians said the initial diagnosis was that Mercado sustained a sprain.

BREWERS: Milwaukee announced its deal with Christian Yelich, the former National League Most Valuable Player, after finalizing a $215 million, nine-year contract.

METS: Tim Tebow was reassigned to minor league camp by New York after going 2 for 13 in spring training with his first extra-base hit in four years.

The 32-year-old outfielder and former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback homered against Detroit’s Alex Wilson on Feb. 25. He also had three walks. Tebow has a .151 average (11 for 73) in four spring trainings with the Mets. After a three-year stint at quarterback in the NFL, he joined the Mets organization in late 2016. He hit .148 (4 for 27) with eight strikeouts during spring training in 2017, .056 (1 for 18) in 2018 and .267 (4 for 15) last year.

DIAMONDBACKS: Arizona infielder Domingo Leyba was suspended for 80 games on Friday following a positive test under Major League Baseball’s drug program. Leyba tested positive for the performance-enhancing substance Boldenone, an anabolic steroid.

 

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