Following a disappointing defeat to the New York Mets, the New York Yankees are gearing up for the return of their star slugger Aaron Judge on Friday. According to reports from Joel Sherman, Judge recently participated in a five-inning simulated game in Tampa as part of his rehabilitation.
Judge has been diligently working towards a comeback from a torn ligament in his right big toe. Although he hasn’t completely recovered from the pain, he is fit enough to step back into the Yankees lineup. His offensive prowess is crucial for the team, which is currently in dire need of a batting boost.
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Judge’s Pre-Injury Performance and New Contract
Prior to his injury, the 31-year-old player had been on an impressive run, hitting a team-high 19 home runs and 40 RBIs with a 187 wRC+ and maintaining a .291 batting average with a .404 OBP. Recognizing his value, the Yankees recently signed Judge to a nine-year, $360 million extension.
The Impact of Judge’s Return on the Yankees’ Offense
Given the Yankees’ underwhelming performance in terms of runners in scoring position, Judge’s return is expected to significantly augment their efficiency in these key situations.
There are, however, concerns that Judge’s injury could worsen, causing him to miss further games. Despite these worries, Judge has been observed running the bases and hitting the ball without favoring his left foot, an encouraging sign for the team.
The Yankees’ Strategy Moving Forward
In an ideal scenario, the Yankees will not only welcome Judge back into the lineup, but General Manager Brian Cashman will also make an acquisition at the trade deadline to further strengthen the team’s roster.