On July 26, Aaron Judge suffered a fracture to his right wrist that landed him on the DL the following day. Since then, the Yankees have a 21-16 record.
The New York Yankees originally gave a three-week timetable for Aaron Judge’s return. By the time those three weeks ended, however, he was still far from ready. Though Judge had started light baseball activities, Brian Cashman admitted the diagnosis was “overly optimistic.” Even now, Judge appears to be a couple of weeks out from a return. The Yankees have made no confirmation, though.
On Monday, Judge took 25 dry swings and 25 off a tee. As he progresses, he’s feeling better, according to MLB’s Bryan Hoch:
“It’s still broken, so there is some soreness that comes with that, but for the most part I’m feeling great,” Judge said. “I’m glad that I’m able to start swinging and then kind of ramp it up here. Hopefully I’ll be back on the field in a week or two. We’ll see.”
Judge’s return would be a massive addition to a Yankees team whose play has been flat. Prior to the DL stint, Judge was one of the most consistent producers on the team. In 372 AB, he had 106 H, 26 HR, and 61 RBI. He slashed .285/.398/.947. Though he did not post equivalent numbers to his Rookie of the Year season in 2017, his combination of power and on-base ability made him one of the most valuable players on the team. Even now, he holds the team’s highest OBP (.398).
To say the team has not played exceptional baseball would be an understatement. The injury-plagued Yankees have struggled to win series, as they haven’t won one since they played the Orioles in late August. The team won 17 of 30 games in August.
With Aroldis Chapman and Didi Gregorius also on the DL, the team has been struggling. Several players have stepped up in their absence, though, to carry the team through its hardship. Miguel Andújar leads the team in average. Gleyber Torres has been producing more with 17 RBI, six HR and 16 BB. Neil Walker and Luke Voit have both played well in recent series.
With under one month of regular season baseball left, the Yankees could use a strong final stretch.
The Yankees believe Aaron Judge will be back in time for October baseball but have not made any official announcements regarding his return. In 2017, his postseason numbers were not too impressive. He hit .188 with four hits, 11 RBI and four home runs. But a healthy Judge would undoubtedly improve the team as a whole. His clubhouse presence, outstanding defense, and determination at the plate are some of his best qualities. Once he makes his return, though, fans can expect he’ll take some time to get back in the swing of things.
This week, the Yankees continue their road trip with a possible Wild Card preview as they play the Oakland A’s. After an off day, they head to Seattle for a three-game set with the Mariners. They end the trip with a three-game series against the Twins. Until Judge returns, the team needs to maintain its lead on the A’s for the Wild Card. The Yankees hope that Judge will make a healthy return to the lineup soon and help guide the team to success in October.
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