The Yankees have had a rough week without Aaron Judge, and the number of games remaining is yet to be determined.
There remains a question mark over how long the 6-foot-7, 282-pound reigning American League MVP will be out with a sprained right big toe. Manager Aaron Boone insisted last week that he couldn’t give an exact schedule until the judge’s swollen toe subsided, but it’s still being worked out.
“There’s still a lot going on out there,” Judge said in his locker late Sunday night as the Yankees ended a two-game losing streak without him. “But day by day we are seeing improvements and that is a good sign. We are not going backwards or holding up.
“Things like this take time. will be back.”
However, when that happens remains a mystery. In the short term, this means the Yankees go into Tuesday’s Subway Series without a judge. It’s the same with the Mets missing top slugger Pete Alonso, who is expected to be out three to four weeks with a broken bone and a bruise. sprained left wrist.
It’s clear the Yankees are treating Judge’s injury carefully and won’t rush him back until he’s fully prepared. They know all too well how a major right toe injury that lingers can make right-handed hitters less productive. Something similar happened last season with DJ LeMahugh. The circumstances of the injuries are different, but in LeMahugh’s case it was a fractured sesamoid bone in the big toe of his right foot and a ligament tear in his second toe. Judges understand how important that body part is to striking.
“It’s certainly a concern,” he said. “I’ve talked a lot with the DJ about how he feels. It’s just another part of the toe, but it’s still the big toe, the source of all strength and power. That’s why we We’re trying to be smart and do what we have to do.”
As of Sunday night, Judges said he had “no idea” when baseball could begin.
“I don’t want to throw up numbers and spit something out because then I’ll be doing what I did when I broke my wrist in 2018 because if I don’t come back in two weeks people will start asking questions,” the judge said. rice field. He said.
In 2018, the Yankees initially announced that the judges would be out of the bat for about three weeks, but he ended up missing seven weeks after a broken wrist didn’t heal as quickly as expected.
This time around, the judge wants to avoid being tied to a specific time frame.
“I think it’s all based on pain,” he said. “It’s a good sign that I feel better day by day. I don’t think I need a timeline.”
Meanwhile, the Yankees, who have gone 3-4 in their first seven games without a judge, need more help from their top hitters during his absence.
Since Judge left the line, Anthony Rizzo, Giancarlo Stanton, Josh Donaldson, Gleyber Torres and LeMahugh combined for a .109 average (11-for-101), 5 slugging, and a .448 OPS. bottom.
The unlikely outfield placement of Billy McKinney, Isaiah Kiner-Falefa, Willie Calhoun, and Jake Bowers is actually solid, and when combined, they have a .260 batting average, 10 slugging, and a .777 OPS. Recorded.
Lizzo’s slump was especially painful. The veteran first baseman, who was the Yankees’ most consistent hitter through the first two months of the season, has gone 0-for-22 since Judge’s injury.
“He’s going through a tough time right now,” Boone said. “I thought it belonged to him [batting practice Sunday] good. We hope to start seeing results on Tuesday. ”