Home News Yankees’ Juan Soto shares forearm update, two-strike approach after 18th homer

Yankees’ Juan Soto shares forearm update, two-strike approach after 18th homer

BOSTON – Juan Soto didn’t make the greatest throw on Saturday when Red Sox left fielder Tyler O’Neill mashed a first-inning double off The Green Monster.

Soto, firing from a few feet in front of the warning track, skipped his throw into second base multiple times. It didn’t look good, especially when considering Soto missed last weekend’s series against the Dodgers with forearm inflammation.

However, Soto quelled any concerns later in the inning when he unleashed a strong throw home following a Jamie Westbrook double. After the game, an 8-4 Yankees loss, Soto provided an encouraging update on his forearm.

“It’s been pretty good,” Soto said. “I’ve been making a couple throws, like today I made a couple throws and it was pretty good. It’s been reacting really well. In the morning when I wake up and everything, it’s really loosened up. We don’t have to do too much work on it. We’re still working, but little by little, we’re getting to 100 percent.”

When initially diagnosed with inflammation, the Yankees said that Soto would undergo treatment and take medicine. However, they said that no shots would be necessary following an MRI.

Soto has looked like himself at the plate since returning to the lineup, going 6-for-18 (.333) with one double, one home run and two RBI in six games prior to Sunday’s series finale.

Soto cleared The Monster with his 18th home run of the season on Saturday. The solo shot required replay review after bouncing back onto the field.

“I thought it was like halfway to the bleachers,” Soto said, “and then it ended up in the field.”

Soto also struck out and walked twice on Saturday. He’s now reached base multiple times in a career-high 11 straight games. Soto’s .435 on-base percentage ranked first in the majors on Sunday morning.

Aaron Judge was second at .427.

On Saturday, Soto was asked about his approach with two strikes, as he got there in three of his four plate appearances.

“Don’t strike out,” he said with a laugh. “Definitely just try to battle. I know I really study the pitchers. I know what they have and what they’re gonna try to do. You can see it after the first two pitches if they’re gonna try to attack or they just gonna try to make me chase, so I just try to stay in my strike zone and stay in my power and try to do damage from there.”

Soto was down 0-2 before drawing his first walk on eight pitches. He was also down 0-2 on his strikeout, but he turned that into an eight-pitch effort as well.

Soto’s home run came on a 2-2 count.

“It’s almost like we’re just getting started once he gets to 0-2,” Aaron Boone said. “It’s impressive to watch him take an at-bat and the battle that it is.”

Added Soto: “I’m letting you know I ain’t scared to be 0-2. I’m right there. I’m fighting every pitch. I don’t mind if I can give you two strikes. I [am] grinding the whole at-bat.”

As for Soto’s defense, he played left field on Friday and Saturday. With Fenway Park providing less ground to cover in front of the Monster and Alex Verdugo experienced in the ballpark’s right side of the outfield, he and Soto have swapped positions for the weekend.

Boone said that he would be open to giving Giancarlo Stanton a day in left field on Sunday, but the manager didn’t make that sound likely. Stanton has yet to play the field this season, and Soto’s forearm has seemed fine.

“If I feel like I want to DH Juan for a day, then I might do it,” Boone said. “It’s in play, but not necessarily.”


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