Analysis

Opinion: Aaron Judge deserves blame for second IL stint

New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge is likely on his way back to the Injured List and this time, he has no one to blame but himself. 

After just one game back from a 10-day stint on the injured list, it appears Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge will be forced to miss more time.

Judge left Thursday night’s game against the Braves after his calf tightened up while running to second base. Thursday, Yankees manager Aaron Boone said it is possible the slugger will need another stint on the injured list. 

While some of Judge’s injuries such as suffering a broken bone in his wrist in 2018 as the result of being hit by a pitch have been freak injuries, this time Judge needs to be held accountable.

When speaking to the media over the last two weeks Judge was adamant he felt 100% and was only being placed on the injured list after Boone decided to hold him out as a precaution.

“I feel 100%”: Judge said on August 16. “I think they’re just kind of looking out for me so it doesn’t get worse because calves may start mild, but if you push on, they may turn into Grade 1 or Grade 2.”

“This kind of shows how much the organization cares for me and looks out for my well being. They don’t want me to go out there and push it. I can’t be frustrated with this organization. I’m just frustrated with myself not being out there, but that’s part of it. They’re just kind of looking out for me and trying to do what’s best for me, I guess,” Judge said.

There’s little doubt that Judge’s comments placed pressure on Boone to get his two-time All-Star back in the lineup, but the result is another injured list stint and a team currently on a five-game losing streak losing their top player for a longer period of time.

If Judge had taken the proper time to recover from his injury and not rushed himself back, he could’ve truly returned to 100% and brought back the nine home runs he slugged during the first three weeks of the season. 

Instead, no one truly knows when he’ll be back or if he’ll feel 100% again in 2020 and the Yankees are a team that went from having the best record in baseball to a club 2.5 games behind the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East. 

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