It’s been an up and down week for Yankee fans. Brian Cashman has pulled off two solid trades to bolster their starting rotation and bullpen. Sonny Gray has looked very good in his last few starts and it seemed like something was starting to click with this Yankee squad. But on this night in which the Bronx Bombers celebrated a dominant victory over the Royals, there was one really bad issue.
Yankees fans cringed when they saw the trainers come out to check on their 6’7 superstar outfielder, Aaron Judge, after he was hit in the right wrist with a 93-mph fastball by Royals starting pitcher Jakob Junis. They breathed a sigh of relief when they saw trainers walk off the field and Judge still at first base, but that wasn’t the last of the issue. After hitting a weak infield single in the third, Judge was removed from the game as DH and replaced by rookie sensation Miguel Andujar.
And then Yankees fans saw the reports that Judge had been taken to a nearby hospital for an MRI and CT scan. How bad could it be? Would the season be on the line? Numerous Yankee fans had these thoughts swirling in their head. But after the game when they found out that Judge had sustained a chip fracture in his wrist, it seemed like nobody understand that there should be no reason to panic. In fact, Yankees fans should be relieved that the injury Judge sustained does not require surgery and is only a three or four week absence.
Instead of thanking the lord for Judge not having a fully broken wrist, Yankees fans scoured social media and dumped out all the possible negative scenarios with the Aaron Judge injury. What if he doesn’t come back as the same hitter? What if he can’t successfully rehab on time? Yes, these things can happen and maybe they will, but I’ve got one word for Yankee fans across the globe, RELAX.
I realize that Aaron Judge is a huge part of the Yankees team, he is a do-it all persona and he is much of the reason that this Yankee team is one of the best in recent history. Yes, it is a huge loss for one of the MLB’s best offenses. He is perhaps the biggest part of their offense, leading the team in home runs, runs, OBP, SLG, and base on balls. A three week absence from Judge isn’t great by any means, but it could’ve been much worse.
Judge could’ve had a worse wrist injury, such as a fully broken wrist or an even tougher fracture. But he luckily walked away with a chip fracture and a three-week absence. He will be back by the end of August and should be fully capable of helping the Yankees chase the Red Sox in the AL East pennant race.
And without Judge, there’s no reason to doubt the Yankees lineup and whether it can provide production itself. They have a reigning NL MVP in slugger Giancarlo Stanton, who has been extremely hot in the last month or so, hitting .323 with four home runs in the last 30 days. Didi Gregorius is starting to get back up to the level of play that he started the year with. Miguel Andujar is an absolutely sensational young hitter who has been terrific all season long. Greg Bird is starting to get comfortable in the lineup. Aaron Hicks is providing a good offensive punch as well as a defensive one. Gleyber Torres has been great all season and is back from his stint on the DL. Veteran Neil Walker should able to eat up ABs, and heck, even he’s been really hot as of late.
This offense is more than capable of carrying the load for a couple of weeks while Judge’s wrist heals. The last reason that Yankee fans should not panic is because of the schedule that is coming up while Judge will be out. He only misses one key series and while it is a big one versus the Red Sox at Fenway, we can live with it. The Yankees only play one other team with an above .500 record in the span that Judge is expected to miss, that being the Tampa Bay Rays. They have an easy schedule and therefore his absence should not hurt them too much. So please Yankees fans, just don’t panic, relax, and enjoy the rest of the baseball season. And the season is not over!