On July 26, Aaron Judge took a fastball off the right wrist. The initial report stated that he would be on the disabled list for three weeks, meaning he should be back in the line up by now. At this time Yankee fans are getting frustrated. A week after Judge was injured the Yankees had a four-game series with the Red Sox, this gave the Yankees an opportunity to gain back some ground (and respect) in the division. The Yankees were embarrassed at Fenway, falling apart in Game 1, and blowing the lead in Game 4, which led to the completion of the sweep. Prior to Judge’s injury, the Yankees were hitting .254 and averaging 5.2 runs per game; since then the Yankees are hitting .237 with 4.8 runs per game. His absence on the field is obviously felt.
Since Judge was placed on the DL the Yankees are 14-10, keeping their head above water, but performing nowhere near expectations. However, this comes with good news and bad news. The good news is the Yankees have one of the easiest schedules in baseball for the remainder of the season, the only difficult part being their six games with the Boston Red Sox, again, presented with an opportunity to regain ground. The bad news is since the All-Star break the Yankees have had an easy schedule and have not been able to produce. Sitting at 17-13 since the break, the Yankees need to do more. It seems as though they are collectively playing down to the level of their opponents. They have lost their electric “never say die” feeling. Early in the year when the Yankees fell behind in games, fans knew they would come back. Now, fans do not have that same confidence in the Yankees. This lineup desperately needs Aaron Judge.
As spectators, we can become impatient with players. Why isn’t he back yet? Can’t he play with a little pain? Unfortunately, a right-handed batter and fielder cannot play and be effective with a right fractured wrist. Playing would also run the risk of making the injury worse and ending Judge’s 2018 postseason hopes. When Judge was asked about his slow recovery he said “I’ve got a broken bone. It’s still fractured. I’ve got to give it time to heal,” The right field All-Star also added, ” [I] Just got to make sure I’m 100 percent before I got back out there because I don’t want to have a setback.” That is the right perspective. Despite the fact that he is desperately needed in the lineup, he knows acting too quickly can have career-changing effects. The Yankees are not in the position they want to be in but they are still projected to make the playoffs. It isn’t time to hit the panic button, but it’s definitely time to step up and play a higher level of baseball.