The absence of Judge in the lineup could cause the Yankees to struggle, but fortunately, it seems that may not be the case. Jack Curry of the YES Network reported that Judge has a minor strain, which is a far better outcome than initially feared.
Curry stated, “Judge has a mild strain at the top of his hip, according to Boone. The Yankees will wait a couple of days to see if he continues to improve and if he can avoid an IL stint. They hope to make a decision by Monday.”
If the Yankees were to lose Judge’s powerful presence in the lineup, some games could become almost unbearable to watch. Yesterday’s lineup was difficult to witness, and the Yanks need Judge to strengthen it.
Judge’s injury means others must step up for the Yankees:
The reigning AL MVP had a strong start to the 2023 season before the injury, and his presence greatly enhances the lineup. He currently boasts a 137 wRC+ and a .863 OPS. Although these numbers are a slight dip from his historic performance last year, he remains one of the league’s top players. Without Judge, the lineup is significantly weakened, and the Yanks must fight to stay competitive in the highly contested AL East.
Hopefully, Judge will return soon, and this mild strain will not hinder his performance in the future. Strains can be challenging to assess, but there is optimism that Judge will recover quickly. He also told Boone yesterday that he experienced no discomfort upon waking up and said his hip felt great.
Judge has already hit 6 home runs this season, contributing to the Yankees’ 15-12 record. The current outfield lineup is lackluster, although Jake Bauers gets his first opportunity of the season tonight. Bauers hit 9 home runs in Triple-A, earning a call-up to replace Franchy Cordero, who was sent down. None of these players can truly fill Judge’s shoes, and his absence is keenly felt in the lineup.
It is expected that the Captain will recover swiftly, and he could potentially return next week. If the Yankees decide to place him on the IL, the team will need to compensate for his absence. Rizzo has been outstanding so far this year, while Gleyber and DJ continue to excel. Beyond that, however, the lineup is somewhat fragile. Hopefully, Oswaldo and Oswald can gain momentum with their bats. The team could benefit from a boost at the bottom of the order.