Six games into the Yankees season Aaron Judge is already being rested for what is called “general soreness”, is Judge now a liability?
For the fourth year in a row, it appears Aaron Judge could be headed to the IL. Yesterday Judge was left out of the Yankees lineup for the second consecutive day with what the Yankees are calling “side soreness.”
“Felt like I wanted at least wait another day,” Aaron Boone said. “We’ll see where we’re at in 24 hours.”
Boone would go on to say that nothing is limiting Judge and that they are just being cautious and “playing the long game.”
Judge’s injury problems have become so common that the team is now proactive in their attempt to keep him healthy which limits his playing time even more.
During his historic 2017 rookie campaign, Judge played a career-high 155 games. Since then, that number has decreased every season: 112 in 2018, 102 in 2019, 28 in 2020 (60 game season). Now just five games into 2021 it appears this yearly tradition will continue, and with that should come serious discussion in the Yankees front office.
After the 2022 season Judge will be a free agent. He will be 30-years-old, approaching his seventh season in the league with just two full seasons under his belt (if we are lucky). Given the health issues with Stanton early in his contract, Brian Cashman would be absolutely crazy to offer Judge anything other than a short-term “prove you can stay healthy” deal.
Put it this way, would you invest your money in a company that has huge potential but year after year fell short of expectations? Probably not. That is what the Yankees would be doing with Judge should they sign him to a big long-term contract.
The Yankees have failed to be transparent about this situation every step of the way. As fans we can only hope that the team is sincerely being cautious and “playing the long game” with the face of their franchise. However, recent history has shown this could very well be the start of another injury-plagued season for Judge.