NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Yankees hoped to get some encouraging news on injured slugger Aaron Judge during their current series in Chicago against the White Sox.
It hasn’t come, nor will it.
Judge suffered a fractured right wrist early in a 7-2 win over visiting Kansas City on July 26. Initially, the Yankees said he would miss at least three weeks. They had hoped he would begin taking dry swings this week, but if he does it won’t be until after the Bombers leave the “Windy City.”
That’s because Judge has indicated he still feels pain in the wrist.
“He is not [ready] yet,” manager Aaron Boone said prior to Tuesday’s 4-3, 13-inning victory. “With Aaron, it’s going to be one of those things [where] the pain has to be all the way out of there.”
Judge, who won the AL Rookie of the Year Award last season, is hitting .285 with 26 home runs, 61 RBIs and a .398 on-base percentage.
In his absence, the Yankees (70-42) have seen their AL East title hopes take a serious hit, losing six of 11 games, including four straight at first-place Boston last weekend.
Though the Yankees have scored a respectable 46 runs without their superstar outfielder, their lineup is much easier to pitch to. Boone is used to having power hitters Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Gary Sanchez all positioned within the first six slots in the order, but injuries to Judge and Sanchez have left Stanton with a lot less protection. Let’s face it, the Bombers didn’t expect to have youngsters Kyle Higashioka and Luke Voit, plus journeyman Shane Robinson playing a lot in the middle of what was for a while a serious pennant race.
“Once [the pain is out], I think it goes fast potentially because he is in great shape and has been able to do all his conditioning, lower body and even upper body,” Boone said. “Once that’s out of there, I would expect it to go pretty fast, but we are going to be and Aaron is going to be smart about making sure he is pain free when he is making those movements throwing and obviously swinging the bat.”
The good news for the wild card-leading Yankees is they have recovered somewhat from the beating they took in Boston, winning the first two games in Chicago. They’ll go for the sweep Wednesday night with ace Luis Severino on the mound. The Bombers will then return home and begin a four-game set against the last-place Texas Rangers on Thursday.