Judge, Urshela back in Yankees' lineup vs. Rays

TAMPA, Fla. — Outfielder Aaron Judge and third baseman Gio Urshela are back in the lineup for the New York Yankees for Saturday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Judge was held out of New York’s lineup Wednesday night with soreness in his left side and missed Friday’s series opener vs. the Rays.

“Just trying to be cautious here with him early, not wanting this to be something that does become an issue, and hopefully we’re able to get past that and through that in these days ahead,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Saturday.

Judge had a homer, three hits and four RBIs in a 7-2 win over Baltimore on Tuesday night but didn’t play in the Yankees’ 4-3, 11-inning loss a day later. New York had a day off Thursday.

Boone said he thought the soreness was from “general wear and tear” over the first few days of the season. He believes the discomfort might stem from when Judge took extra swings while serving as the designated hitter on Sunday.

“I don’t think there was anything he did specific or one thing,” Boone said. “I think it was just the gradual workload. Probably swinging a lot, doing a lot of cage work and things like that that just kind of led to some soreness that he developed over time, but I don’t think there was any one thing.”

Judge, the 2017 American League Rookie of the Year, missed 142 games from 2018 to ’20, going on the injured list at different points for a right wrist fracture, a left oblique strain and twice for right calf strains. He also broke a rib last March but was ready for Opening Day after the pandemic delayed the start of the season.

Urshela was placed on the COVID injured list on Friday due to side effects from a vaccination. He was originally listed in the starting lineup, but the Yankees made the change shortly before the game.

“We kind of expected this,” Boone said. “He was a little under the weather along with a couple of other guys on our off day. He actually came in yesterday, late morning, and felt good and ready to go, and was in the original lineup. But then, started having those symptoms again that he was feeling the day before. And actually, by the end of the game yesterday, he was feeling [like] himself again. And then last night felt good. And then I just saw his smiling face walking by my office about 30 minutes ago with the thumbs up. So we feel like he’s out of the woods and ready to go.”

Infielder Mike Ford was recalled from the alternate site and activated for the series. Any player placed on the COVID injured list does not count against the 40-man roster. The COVID injured list also does not require a minimum stay.

Also Saturday, the Yankees activated newly acquired Rougned Odor, who came over from the Rangers in a deal Tuesday.

Odor did not make the Rangers’ Opening Day roster and was designated for assignment on April 1. He is a left-handed hitter, and the Yankees have a mostly right-handed lineup.

Odor is a second baseman but also played third in spring training.

ESPN’s Marly Rivera contributed to this report.