Three Weeks Later, Slugger Aaron Judge Gives A Sobering Assessment Of His Injury


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When the lineup card was revealed for Saturday afternoon, Josh Donaldson and DJ LeMahieu were on the bench and Giancarlo Stanton was dropped to fifth.

About a half hour later, those were low in the list of lineup realities for the Yankees. That came when towards the end of his brief discussion about the status of a sprained right big toe that has been injured for three weeks, Aaron Judge provided even more of a sobering reality when discussing the glacial pace of his recovery.

“I want to be out there. I’m frustrated with that,” Judge said of the pace of healing so far and still not having an idea of when he’ll return. “But it’s a different injury. I don’t think too many people in here have torn a ligament in their toe. If it was a quad, we’d have a better answer. If it’s an oblique, a hamstring, we’d have an answer on the timeline for that. But how unique this injury is and it being my back foot, which I hit off of, run off of, push off of. it’s a tough spot.”

On the surface, Judge saying his ligament is torn may not seem like a huge deal since a medical definition of a sprain is a stretched or torn ligament. Just to hear him say the phrase “torn ligament” might have been the most sobering aspect and frustrated aspect of the Yankees’ franchise hitter.

Judge’s comments were made because inquiring minds wanted to know if he was going to do any kind of baseball activities. Earlier this week, the Yankees had said Judge was close to doing some activity such as throwing or light hitting.

Those activities are hardly the final stage of any rehab and would hardly be an indication of someone getting close to the final portion of facing live pitching in minor league ballparks. And how it was described by Judge doing any kind of activities may have seemed like wishful thinking on his part.

“It’s something I mentioned to the training staff: I want to test it out a little bit,” Judge said. “Maybe play catch, maybe take some dry swings. I just kind of see where it’s at.

“I really wouldn’t say it’s me running on the field and or doing a lot of baseball activity. It’s more me being passive saying, `We’ve done a lot of stuff in here. We’re making some great progress. Let’s test with what I’m going to be actually doing on the field.’”

What the Yankees actually are doing on the field is trying to stay afloat with a lineup still struggling. They have won seven of the 17 games Judge has missed so far with each win coming by three runs or fewer and six wins occurring without scoring more than four runs.

The big hits are not coming from the likes of Giancarlo Stanton, Anthony Rizzo, LeMahieu, Donaldson or even Gleyber Torres, a fivesome making roughly a combined $96 million this year.

Instead Stanton has six hits in 55 at-bats since returning the day before Judge crashed into the wall at Dodger Stadium. Rizzo is 11-for-66 this month while showing signs of life with seven of those hits since the Yankees returned home from last weekend’s rough experience at Fenway Park.

As for Donaldson, he has six homers but is 8-for-64 this year after striking out when he was sent up to bat for Billy McKinney, who has reached in all 15 games he has appeared in since replacing Judge.

LeMahieu got a much-awaited hit Friday but is 7-for-43 this month as his average has dropped from .276 on May 14 to .228 overall and this is happening after he batted .268 and .261 in the first two seasons of a five-year, $90 million contract that was signed on the basis of what he did on a two-year, $24 million contract when he won the batting title and finished second to Tim Anderson in 2019.

Torres squeezed the final out when the Yankees hung on for their fourth 1-0 win decided on a homer since 2009 but he has 12 hits in 67 at-bats this month.

“He’s out right now,” manager Aaron Boone said. “So just trying to, obviously, get him well and back as soon as possible, but whether we had a defined day where he’d be back in, the reality is we’re without him right now and we got to find a way to get it done.”

In the meantime until whenever Judge comes back, the Yankees will talk up their pitching, notably a relief unit sporting a 2.89 ERA which enables them to eke out wins. And they will also hope for an occasional outburst at the plate while staying in contention for one of the three wild-card spots and if and when Judge returns, the Yankees will hope they can do what the Padres and Phillies did by getting a chance to play for a pennant.

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Lisa Holden
Lisa Holden
Lisa Holden is a news writer for LinkDaddy News. She writes health, sport, tech, and more. Some of her favorite topics include the latest trends in fitness and wellness, the best ways to use technology to improve your life, and the latest developments in medical research.

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