Brian Cashman is often exempt from addressing minor lapses in judgement. His well-established track record and business philosophy as the Yankees’ general manager grants him that benefit of the doubt.
But Cashman confessed on Monday that the team’s initial three-week time frame for Aaron Judge’s return from a fractured wrist was overly optimistic and off-target, since the 26-year-old outfielder — who landed on the disabled list nearly a month ago — has yet to swing a bat without feeling pain.
“[Yankees team doctor Christopher] Ahmad was optimistic,” Cashman told Joel Sherman of the New York Post. “He recognizes these things take four to six weeks, but for some reason his experience with Judge, [Ahmad] went the most optimistic three weeks. That was a mistake, one he has self-admitted to. In fairness to Aaron, four to six weeks is typical. Usually, we don’t over-promise. In this case, we missed on the timeline. It is unfair to the player. The optimism and the timeline were inaccurate.”
Judge suffered a chip fracture in his right wrist after being hit by a pitch back on July 26 against the Royals at Yankee Stadium. Although he’s made steady progress in his recovery, according to manager Aaron Boone, Judge’s soreness has hindered further activity, and it’s still unclear as to when he’ll be back in the Yankees’ lineup.
It’s safe to presume the return date will be scheduled around early to mid-September. At the earliest, five weeks on the shelf. At the latest, possibly six. Either way, the Yankees can’t speed up the bone healing process.
“We have never been told that he is not coming back,” Cashman said. “But in fairness to the player, how is he going to be? Is he going to be operating at peak-performance levels? Will he not be feeling discomfort from time to time when he checks a swing from a very violent swing? All those things are realistic, too. We will get him back, that is the assessment. How he plays and [when] he knocks the rust out, in fairness to him, that is the difficult part. It takes time.”
In 99 games this season, Judge has hit .285 with 26 home runs, 61 RBI, and a .946 OPS.