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Yankees place Aaron Judge on the 10-day IL; select Billy McKinney

A right great toe sprain will sideline the reigning AL MVP for the immediate future, and an old friend is coming up in his place.

MLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees at Pittsburgh Pirates Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

No good deed goes unpunished. Seriously. Aaron Judge’s spectacular catch in Los Angeles on Saturday has ultimately resulted in the superstar heading back to the injured list, as Josh reported Tuesday night. On Wednesday afternoon, the Yankees officially placed Judge on the 10-day IL, retroactive to June 4th. A “right great toe sprain” is the official diagnosis as of now; they won’t have a timetable on him until this weekend, when they’ll see how it responded to a PRP injection.

Here’s hoping we see Judge, who was red-hot at the dish after returning from his first IL stint, back in pinstripes sooner rather than later. Giancarlo Stanton and Josh Donaldson have at least returned to the lineup, both hopefully capable of picking up some of the slack with Judge out. But the Captain was hitting .340/.478/.868 over his last 15 games. There’s no replacing that.

The second move the Yankees made was to open 40-man roster space. The club transferred the injured Ryan Weber to the 60-day IL. The reliever has a forearm strain and will be out for a long time; Tommy John surgery may even be on the table, as the strain is often a precursor and Weber.

Finally, the Yankees needed to call up an outfielder. Billy McKinney, who came to the Yankees in the memorable 2016 Aroldis Chapman trade that Gleyber Torres headlined, is coming up from Triple-A Scranton. The Yankees later dealt McKinney to the Toronto Blue Jays in the deal that acquired JA Happ in 2018. After floating between a few different organizations since then, he signed with New York this offseason as a free agent and is now headed back to the Bronx, where he made his MLB debut.

McKinney has been swinging a spectacular stick since the calendar turned to May. No one in their right mind expects those numbers in The Show, but hopefully he can be a productive outfield piece for the Yankees as we all wait for Judge to return.

Per Chris Kirschner of The Athletic, Aaron Boone said that the Yankees chose McKinney over Estevan Florial and Franchy Cordero due to both his hot recent play and defensive flexibility.

There’s no way to soft-pedal this as good news. The Yankees are a below-average team when Judge is not in the lineup this season, posting a 6-7 record in the games he has missed. The best we can hope for is that he returns sooner rather than later and that this toe nonsense doesn’t linger, interfering with Judge’s preternatural offensive skills.

More roster moves likely await tomorrow. Randy Vásquez will be the “27th man” for the doubleheader Game 2 start, per Meredith Marakovits, and the injured Nestor Cortes is still on the 26-man.