The New York Yankees are gearing up to face off against the Boston Red Sox on Thursday evening with Gerrit Cole on the mound. Opposite Cole, Boston will feature Josh Winckowski.
However, prior to the start of the game, the Yankees announced that star slugger Aaron Judge was scratched from the lineup due to a lower-body soreness issue. Similar to Anthony Rizzo, prior to the start of the Pittsburgh series, he was dealing with a stiff lower back, forcing him out for two games. Rizzo is also expected to miss Thursday’s game as well.
"He's just been dealing with some kind of lower body soreness thing . . . just something we're not going to mess with" – Aaron Boone on why Judge is out of the lineup tonight
— The Michael Kay Show (@TMKSESPN) July 7, 2022
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The Yankees’ offense is a shell of itself without Aaron Judge:
Not having Judge will undoubtedly impact the Yankees’ offensive capabilities. The 30-year-old slugger is having an MVP-caliber season, hitting .287 with a 36.6% on-base rate. He’s also slugging .627 with 30 home runs and 64 RBIs.
Featuring a career best 59. 5% hard-hit rate and 25. 2% barrel rate, Judge is making exquisite contact. Despite being scratched from the lineup, manager Aaron Boone did indicate that he would use Judge in a pinch-hitting situation if need be.
In the No. 2 slot, starting second baseman Gleyber Torres was shifted up the batting order. Matt Carpenter will take over as the designated hitter in a third spot, and Giancarlo Stanton will feature in left field.
Aaron Hicks will shift over to centerfield with Joey Gallo in right. To start a four-game series in Boston, losing Judge is undoubtedly a tough blow. However, the Yankees are likely taking an extremely cautious approach with their best player, especially since they currently host a 14-game cushion in the AL East over Tampa Bay and Boston.