From everything we’ve read and seen, this whole Aaron Judge “injury” feels borderline at best. What was originally described as “lower body tightness” was then said to be a calf strain. However, Boone described this strain as “level one or even less than that.” To me, if something is less than a one, it doesn’t really exist.
Last Friday, the Yankees faced a borderline decision. They could keep Judge active and hold him out for a few days, or they could IL him for the week and call up Frazier. They waited until the last possible second, even delaying Aaron Boone’s media availability by around 90 minutes, before finally deciding to send him to the IL. In a decision that could’ve went either way, they decided to play it safe.
The plan started out perfectly. Frazier has absolutely taken off over these five games. He’s slashing .444/.500/.944 and already has two homers. Between the mask and his new found maturity, he has the presence of a young man that just graduated college and learned how to act like an adult. He’s hitting (and acting) like a Yankee. It’s been awesome.
On Saturday night, DJ LeMahieu sprained his thumb on a routine swing. He’s going to miss between two and three weeks. We can live with that. The problem is that now we don’t have Judge, Stanton or LeMahieu for the pivotal Rays series that starts tonight.
Why the Timing is Brutal
It’s one thing not to have Judge against the Red Sox or a National league opponent. The Red Sox aren’t good, and the National League games don’t matter as much. But the three series that the Yankees have against the Rays are the most important ones of the season. The Yankees already blew the first series, barley salvaging one game out of four at the Trop. Now the Yankees will have to somehow try to take two out of three from Tampa without three stars — a daunting task indeed.
On Sunday, Judge claimed he was 100 percent and could play. He took live BP on Monday without issue, and it seems like he’s fine. If they could’ve just held out a bit longer, Judge would be ready to roll tonight. Now, the Yankees will have to try and knock off their greatest threat without their three best position players.