The New York Yankees appear rather ordinary without their star captain, Aaron Judge. After a demoralizing defeat by the Boston Red Sox in Fenway on Friday night, the team aims to regain momentum on Saturday with Clarke Schmidt on the mound against Brayan Bello.
Every day, the Yankees await a positive injury update on Judge. However, he may be sidelined for another month, and based on Manager Aaron Boone’s comments, the team lacks a clear recovery timetable.
Aaron Judge’s Health Update and the Impact of His Absence
Judge received another plasma injection on Friday to alleviate persistent soreness, but such injuries require time to heal.
“There’s two ligaments, so they hit the other ligament, which was still giving him some of the soreness,” Boone said Friday. “So he had that [Thursday] and is doing a lot better today. So nothing in the way of baseball stuff the next 48 hours, but he’s doing better.”
Judge’s recovery is the best-case scenario, as he’s left big shoes to fill with his .291 batting average, .404 OBP, 19 home runs, and 40 RBIs. The Yankees’ top hitter’s absence is a windfall for opposing teams, who are exploiting this vulnerability.
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The Fight for Standings in the AL East
The AL East standings are increasingly critical for the Yankees, who lag 10.5 games behind the Tampa Bay Rays and trail the second-place Baltimore Orioles by 4.5 games. With the strength of teams in the American League, this year’s Wild Card race will be fiercely competitive.
Although the Orioles currently hold the top spot, the season is still in progress, and the Yankees have ample opportunity to close the gap, depending on their trade deadline decisions.
Will Judge Return by the All-Star Break?
Boone remained optimistic yet vague about Judge’s possible return by the All-Star break. “I think there’s a shot for that, yeah,” he said. “That said, I don’t know. He could be back in a week, he could be back in four — I don’t know. We gotta get to a point where we’re starting to move the ball from a physical activity and baseball standpoint. Hopefully this latest PRP is part of speeding that process up, but we’ll see.”
Balancing Speedy Recovery and Long-Term Health
The Yankees are eager for Judge’s quick return but must also prioritize his long-term health. Ensuring that the former MVP fully recovers is crucial, as aggravating the injury could risk losing him for the entire season.
Judge is known for pushing through pain, but the team needs to ensure he does not risk his health with this injury.
The Need for Other Players to Step Up
Ultimately, it’s up to the rest of the roster to rise to the occasion in Judge’s absence. High-priced veterans like Josh Donaldson and Giancarlo Stanton need to significantly increase their contributions to help the Yankees navigate this challenging phase.