Yankees Rumors: Aaron Judge’s return could be imminent

aaron judge, yankees
May 15, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) runs the bases after hitting a home run against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

As the New York Yankees strive to secure a place in the Wild Card, enhancing their batting order ahead of the trade deadline and welcoming back Aaron Judge could be pivotal steps.

Current Standings and Future Expectations

At present, the Yankees trail the Toronto Blue Jays by two games for the final Wild Card slot. However, they are fresh off a series sweep against the Kansas City Royals and are set to claim two games from the New York Mets in an upcoming subway series on Tuesday night.

One thing remains certain: general manager Brian Cashman isn’t ready to surrender. Despite facing a challenging season, the Yankees are prepared to go down fighting, aiming to strengthen their roster and enhance their chances at the World Series.

Structural Changes and New Leadership

The team’s management has recently been shaking things up within the coaching staff, seeking new leadership to drive their vision forward. They’ve enlisted Sean Casey as the team’s hitting coach and recently brought Andy Pettitte on board in an advisory role.

While significant changes are already underway, the Yankees are expected to make even more adjustments. However, no change may be more impactful than the return of Aaron Judge.

Via Andy Martino of SNY, the Yankees could drop an activation report soon:

“I suspect that one of these days the Yankees are just going to drop a tweet that Aaron Judge is activated. He doesn’t like public timelines but seems to be progressing nicely. Not sure which day but they’ll try to keep it under wraps.”

The Impact of Aaron Judge’s Return For the Yankees

Before suffering a ligament tear in his right big toe, Judge left the team with a .291 batting average, a .404 OBP, 19 homers, 40 RBIs, a .674 slugging rate, and a 187 wRC+ rating. He also boasted a 62.6% hard-hit rate and a 30.4% barrel rate.

Encouragingly, Judge has recently been spotted running the bases and even enjoyed a simulated batting session against Jonathan LoĆ”isiga ahead of Sunday’s game against the Royals.

Looking Forward

There’s speculation that Judge might return to the field closer to the weekend, just before Tuesday’s trade deadline. Given the Yankees are preparing for a challenging stretch against the Baltimore Orioles, Tampa Bay Rays, and Houston Astros, they’ll need all the firepower they can muster. With the rest of the week to strengthen their offense, the Yankees are poised to make the most of this crucial period.

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