CHICAGO — On most nights, the barrage of boilerplate insults directed at Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge registers as little more than background noise.
The volume of the taunts varies from ballpark to ballpark. Occasionally, the creative ones cause Judge, the major league home run leader, to chuckle and even acknowledge they have reached their intended target. But more times than not, the snubs seem to run together, soon to be forgotten.
But on Wednesday night, with steady rain falling on plenty of empty seats at Guaranteed Rate Field, a clichéd standby resonated from the right-field bleachers. Because of the weather and the relatively quiet atmosphere, the crude chant — which used Judge’s first name — caught Judge’s attention.
But he did not budge. Each inning that Judge returned to his post, the same rhythmic rant continued amid a lopsided Yankees victory. And Judge got his payback with his 27th home run, after which he glared at his right-field detractors as he trotted between first and second base.
“When you’re on the road, fans pay to cheer on their team and boo the other team; that’s just part of it,” Judge said Thursday. “That’s what they’re supposed to do. I expect it. I think everybody expects that.”
What the Yankees have come to expect from Judge is a constant, powerful presence in Manager Joe Girardi’s ever-changing lineup. As injuries and minor league call-ups have become commonplace, including on Thursday when the Yankees called up Dustin Fowler from Class AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Judge’s presence in the No. 2 hole has been a much-needed staple.
The Yankees placed first baseman Tyler Austin on the 10-day disabled list with hamstring soreness and also activated Chris Carter, who was designated for assignment less than a week ago. The Yankees sent Miguel Andujar back to Class AAA a day after he had three hits and four R.B.I. in his major league debut.Continue reading the main story
CHICAGO -- The man fans nearly booed out of Yankee Stadium is back.
And the man who propelled the Yankees to a win in his first career game is gone.
The Yankees made a handful of moves before Thursday's game against White Sox game at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Among them: Returning the struggling Chris Carter to the active roster a week after cutting him loose and demoting Miguel Andujar, who had four RBI in Wednesday's victory.
It wasn't too complicated a situation, manager Joe Girardi said.
The Yankees needed another first baseman with Tyler Austin (right hamstring strain) going to the disabled list and designated hitter Matt Holliday (illness) there, too. Backup catcher Austin Romine has taken over at the position the last few games.
What to know about Fowler
Carter will share reps at the position with Romine, Girardi said.
"You need another (first baseman) and Chris is familiar with what's going on here and he was going to go to (Triple-A), Girardi said. "I applaud him for that. He wanted to go play. I figured I'd give him today off since he hasn't done anything in five days. He's just been kind of waiting. So we'll try to get him going."
On Friday, the Yankees designated Carter for assignment to add Austin.
Carter has had a terrible season, hardly making good on the one-year, $3.5-million deal he signed with the Yankees in the offseason.
He's hit .204 with eight home runs, 23 RBI and a whopping 70 strikeouts in 167 at-bats over 57 games. Carter became the everyday first baseman after Greg Bird (right ankle bone bruise) went to the disabled list May 2.
The Yankees put him on the 60-day DL Thursday and designated former top prospect Mason Williams for assignment.
Girardi said he hoped the five days off cleared Carter's head.
"I think it can change a lot of things," the manager said. "This guy hit 41 home runs (in 2016). He's a guy that's going to strike out. That's been in his game ever since I remember but he's also a guy who really has the ability to hit the ball out of the ballpark. So maybe the five days off will really help, get him going."Brendan Kuty may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @BrendanKutyNJ. Find NJ.com Yankees on Facebook.