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Yanks' Judge on track for opening day after shoulder surgery

New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, of Japan, left, bumps fists with relief pitcher Dellin Betances at baseball spring training camp, Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, of Japan, left, bumps fists with relief pitcher Dellin Betances at baseball spring training camp, Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

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.

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