Injuries have not been kind to the Yankees this week. Gary Sanchez was activated from the disabled list last weekend, only to re-aggravate his groin injury and be shelved again until late August. Domingo German exited his outing in Scranton today with bicep tendonitis, and Sonny Gray took a comebacker off his bare hand. Worst of all, however, Aaron Judge got plunked by a pitch.
After being drilled in the wrist by a fastball, Judge remained in the game for another at-bat only to be sent to the hospital for a MRI. Hours later, the Yankees announced that Judge suffered a chip fracture of the right wrist. He is expected to miss at least three weeks.
The injury certainly could be worse, but this one still hurts. It’s bad enough to be without the power threat that is Sanchez for another month—even though he was admittedly not tearing the cover off the ball. Losing Judge is a huge blow to the offense, especially now. The team has not been playing well as a whole recently, but July was shaping up to be his best month all season.
The team has been on a downward trajectory since late June, and you have to wonder if this will cost the Yankees the division. It’s tough to imagine them being able to catch the Red Sox without Judge; Boston just keeps winning. Even with a healthy Judge, it was going to be a difficult task. Now it’s beginning to feel impossible.
The only real good news is that this injury happened prior to the trade deadline. At least Brian Cashman has time to evaluate the Yankees’ internal options, and potentially put a deal together. Unfortunately, Clint Frazier is in concussion protocol, and Billy McKinney was shipped off to the Blue Jays yesterday. Jacoby Ellsbury still hasn’t resumed baseball activities, so the internal options aren’t looking too hot. The outfield is fine with Brett Gardner, Aaron Hicks, and Giancarlo Stanton, but Shane Robinson cannot be the backup plan. Not to mention that they really need a bat off the bench that isn’t Neil Walker.
Since the Orioles are in sell everything mode, Adam Jones has been floated as a possible trade candidate. Beyond that, I’m not sure who is available since outfield was not an area the Yankees needed to improve until 90 minutes ago. Maybe Cashman can convince the Nationals that they definitely are out of it and should give us Bryce Harper.
I try to avoid having high expectations so as to not be disappointed. If you asked me yesterday, I wouldn’t have confidently declared that this team was going to sail into the playoffs. This team does feel special though, and this injury is deflating. Get well soon, Judge. We’ll miss you.