In news that is disappointing though not surprising, especially given the Yankees’ injury “luck” early this season, the club announced today that Aaron Judge is head to the 10-day injured list. He had worked out with the team today prior to the start of their game against the Guardians, but they’re playing it safe with their superstar. In a corresponding move, the Yankees are recalling Franchy Cordero from Triple-A. With Judge’s placement being retroactive, he is eligible to return a week from today, when New York hosts Oakland in the Bronx. That’s the best-case scenario.
The hits keep on coming. The Yankee offense has been putrid for most of the season, and now it is without the reigning MVP and all-time single-season AL home run king. Admittedly, Judge was not off to the hottest start, but he was still slashing .261/.352/.511 with a 136 wRC+. Now, we’re guaranteed another several games without Judge in the lineup.
Prior to tonight’s game, the Yankees made the following roster moves:— Yankees PR Dept. (@YankeesPR) May 1, 2023
•Placed OF Aaron Judge on the 10-day injured list (retroactive to 4/28) with a right hip strain.
•Recalled INF/OF Franchy Cordero (#33) from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Even off to a less-than-torrid beginning of the season, Judge was still well above average at the plate, and he gave the Yankees a legitimate option in center field while they wait for Harrison Bader (who may return this week; ideally, Cordero’s quick return from Triple-A is brief).
For the Yankees, there’s really no way to sugarcoat this. The offense is in dire shape without Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and others. The hope has to be that the hip only keeps Judge out for a week. But once he’s eligible to return, the club has to be 100-percent sure that he is ready to go. Esteban wrote about this a couple of days ago. Judge’s hip is so crucial to his peak performance. If the Yankees rush him back—which is what they would’ve been doing by not putting him on the IL—or Judge pushes back into the lineup too soon, it would be be playing an awfully risky game.
It is what it is, and no one in baseball feels sorry for the Yankees. They’re not going to gift the club pity wins. Time for the guys who remain—vets like DJ LeMahieu, Anthony Rizzo, and Gleyber Torres—to lead the way while the Yankees wait for the Captain to return.