MLB notebook: Judge (wrist) progressing slowly

FILE PHOTO: Jul 31, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees injured right fielder Aaron Judge (99) stands on the field just outside the dugout during the seventh inning stretch of a game against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

When Aaron Judge first sustained a chip fracture of the ulnar styloid bone in his right wrist, the New York Yankees estimated it would be three weeks before he could swing a bat in a game situation. On the eve of that three-week mark, Judge still hasn't picked up a bat. The star outfielder has lingering pain in his wrist that has slowed his recovery from the injury, which sent him to the disabled list on July 27. Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Wednesday he's hopeful Judge would soon start getting in swings underwater in the pool. Meanwhile, general manager Brian Cashman seemed to suggest the ailment could linger even when Judge returns. --The Seattle Mariners placed left-hander James Paxton on the 10-day disabled list with a left forearm contusion. Paxton left his Tuesday start against the Oakland Athletics in the first inning after taking a line drive off the forearm from Jed Lowrie, but X-rays were negative and the team called initially termed Paxton "day-to-day." The Mariners will use right-hander Felix Hernandez, who was recently moved to the bullpen, as Paxton's replacement in the rotation. In a corresponding move, Seattle recalled right-hander Christian Bergman from Triple-A Tacoma. --Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve took batting practice on the field as he continues his recovery from right knee discomfort. Altuve, who ran on a treadmill Tuesday, is expected to have to play through discomfort if he returns this season. Meanwhile, outfielder George Springer is expected to return from his left thumb sprain on Friday. Altuve, the reigning AL MVP, was placed on the DL for the first time in his career on July 29. Springer has been out since Aug. 6. --Washington Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg pitched in a simulated game as he nears his return from a pinched nerve in his neck. Nationals manager Dave Martinez told reporters afterward the hope is Strasburg will return during next week's series against the Philadelphia Phillies. A decision will be made after the 30-year-old throws a side session later this week. Strasburg and fellow injured righty Erick Fedde took turns pitching against a group of hitters that included Spencer Kieboom, Wilmer Difo and Matt Adams in the simulated game. Strasburg said he threw 70 pitches on the day. --Wilson Ramos was activated off the 10-day disabled list by the Phillies, and the veteran catcher will make his team debut against the Boston Red Sox. Ramos was acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays on July 31 despite nursing a hamstring injury. He was hurt on July 14. Ramos, 31, was selected to the American League All-Star team, his second such honor, but had to miss the game due to his injury. --Though he hopes to recover from a knee injury and pitch again, Atlanta Braves right-hander Brandon McCarthy plans to retire at the end of the 2018 season, he told McCarthy, 35, hasn't played since the end of June while battling tendinitis in his right knee, and he's not eligible to return until September after being placed on the 60-day disabled list. However, he is working to recover enough to return and provide support in Atlanta's bullpen. In his 14th season, McCarthy is 6-3 with a 4.92 ERA in 15 appearances (all starts) this year, his first with the Braves. He has played for six other teams, most prominently the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Dodgers, going 69-75 with a 4.20 ERA in 255 appearances (197 starts). --Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun left Milwaukee's afternoon game with the Chicago Cubs in the fifth inning with what the club announced as right ribcage tightness. Braun, who hit two home runs in the Brewers' 7-0 win over the Cubs on Tuesday, apparently sustained the injury while attempting to make a sliding catch of Jason Heyward's RBI double in the third inning. Braun batted in the fourth inning but bunted out softly to pitcher Kyle Hendricks. --The St. Louis Cardinals activated Brett Cecil from the 10-day disabled list and optioned fellow left-hander Tyler Webb to Triple-A Memphis. Cecil has been sidelined with right foot inflammation. He most recently pitched for the Cardinals on July 22. Webb didn't allow a run in six appearances (7 2/3 innings) with the Cardinals. He was claimed off waivers from the San Diego Padres in late June. --The Baltimore Orioles released infielder Danny Valencia after designating him for assignment last week. Valencia, who turns 34 next month, was dropped from the 40-man roster on Friday to make room for the call-up of Cedric Mullins, one of the team's top prospects. Mullins, a center fielder, is off to a strong start, going 6-of-16 with two RBIs in his first five games in the majors. Valencia batted .263 with nine homers and 28 RBIs in 78 games this season. --Astros right-hander Francis Martes underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow and is out 12 to 16 months, the team announced. Martes, 22, was shut down in June without appearing for the Astros this year. He went 0-1 with a 6.41 ERA in five games (all starts) in the minor leagues in 2018, with four of those starts for Triple-A Fresno. --The Los Angeles Angels expressed their condolences after the passing of minor league pitcher Aaron Cox, 24. Cox, who was All-Star center fielder Mike Trout's brother-in-law, had been with the organization since 2015. He made 11 relief appearances earlier this season for high Class-A Inland Empire, going 0-1 with a 4.11 ERA. --Field Level Media