The impact of the return of Aaron Judge doesn’t need any emphasis. However, his presence alone could be just as impactful as the slugger’s potent bat.
For the past month and a half, the Yankees have been without Aaron Judge due to a Jakob Junis fastball to his wrist. To say that Judge’s absence has taken a toll on the Yankees would be an understatement, playing to a record of 25-20 without Judge.
Before his injury, the Yankees were on pace to have a 105 win season with a 66-35 mark. When Judge took the field for the first time in over 45 games Yankee stadium was profoundly electric. Despite not registering an at-bat, Judge’s first game back did change the atmosphere in the clubhouse, and it showed in the first two games of the rivalry series where the Yankees won and had a run differential of plus eleven.
Even though Aaron Judge hasn’t contributed a lot at the plate, but the difference is felt in other places around the clubhouse.
Who’s Guarding That Short Porch In Right Field?
As Judge has impressed fans with his deep bombs and amazing plate discipline he has also been known to have a rocket for an arm. Whether it be throwing to first to get a double play after an amazing catch, robbing home runs, or throwing out a runner who thought they could try and leg it out to third, Judge has very clearly shown he is one of the top three defensive right fielders in the major leagues.
With his absence, Yankee pitchers couldn’t be that sure with his replacement. His replacement in right field before the acquisition of Andrew McCutchen was Shane Robinson, Neil Walker, or Giancarlo Stanton. While Stanton was serviceable he had a slight injury to his hamstring right after Judge had his injury so to make sure that they did not lose another player the Yankees held Stanton to a designated hitter only role. Shane and Neil both are subpar right fielders and can’t compare to what Judge gave the team.
O, Captain! My Captain!
It’s clear that Aaron Judge is a well-liked guy. Whether it be when his teammates hit home runs and the handshakes they have with Judge or seeing the smile on a kid’s face when he gives them a game ball, Judge has become well-liked throughout New York.
With Judge being well liked brings a responsibility for him as well. He’s been tasked with the responsibility of being a leader on this team and it shows. The Yankees looked dead at times throughout Judge’s absences due to his wrist injury and you can attribute that towards the terrible record they had while Judge was gone. With Judge back to pick this team up, they seem more energized than ever.
Speak Softly And Carry A Big Bat
Judge’s bat brings more to this lineup than just his power and great baseball eye. It also brings help to his teammates. Not only does it relieve pressure off of Stanton and Didi, but the Yankees also average nearly a full run more per game when he is in the lineup.
Not only does he get on base because of all the walks he draws, but he is also one of the most efficient number two-hole hitters in the whole league. According to his stats averaged per game during the time he was not injured Judge would have contributed 12 home runs, 27 RBIs, 31 walks, and 48 hits. Who knows how many games would’ve have been won with Judge’s amazing at the plate skills.
All Summed Up
It’s plenty clear that Judge makes a difference on the field for the Yankees. Whether that be with his glove, his bat, or his leadership, he is an important part to the Yankees. Judge in the postseason wasn’t anything to get excited about last year but this year could be a different story now that he has some time under his belt. It will be exciting to see if Judge can make up all that time he missed to help the Yankees in a postseason that looks to be as tough as they come.