New York Yankees: ‘Pain-free’ Judge aims to regain his form before the playoffs

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge
USA Today

The 2020 season has been a tough one for New York Yankees‘ right fielder Aaron Judge. Not because he hasn’t produced; he has. However, he hasn’t been able to stay in one piece and play in the majority of the team’s games so far in the shortened 2020 season.

First, he was limited by a rib/lung injury for much of the spring and part of the summer. He was ready in time to start the season, but he suffered a couple of calf strains that robbed him too much playing time for his taste.

After re-aggravating the issue, he has already returned to the New York Yankees’ active roster, just in time to get a week’s worth of at-bats before the playoffs and try to regain the form that made him one of the most feared elements of the Bombers’ lineup.

When healthy, Judge has mashed in 2020. He has a .256/.315/.610 line with a .383 wOBA and a 145 wRC+. In 22 games and 90 plate appearances, the hulking outfielder has nine home runs, 18 runs and 20 RBI.

The Yankees need him to get in a groove

He claims he is pain-free. “It’s good to see him moving so well,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said to on Tuesday. “For him, it’s just racking up those at-bats and really locking in. He’s gotten to a lot of deep counts, a couple of balls that he’s had a chance to do something with. As he sees more pitches, he’s close to locking it in.”

He has played in a handful of games since returning from the injury last week, and it is clear that he is still rusty, collecting just two hits in 17 at-bats. But as long as he has no pain, it is a matter of time for him to heat up.

“I’ve been able to run around pain-free, no problem,” Judge said. “I’m feeling good in the box. It’s going to take four or five games for me to get the timing back. I didn’t have a chance to get a lot of live at-bats like Scranton or playing in Triple-A right now, so I’m getting back slowly but surely.”