Yankees shouldn’t rush Aaron Judge back for U.K. series
Yankees superstar Aaron Judge has been out of action with a significant left oblique strain since April 21. However, manager Aaron Boone believes the slugger could make it back in time for the series against the Red Sox in London.
I want Aaron Judge back in the Yankees everyday lineup as much as the next guy. However, if you’ve ever experienced an oblique strain, let alone a “significant” one, then you know the pain, and subsequent recovery time is no joke.
Therefore, missing 6-to-8 weeks is the standard operating procedure for such an injury (usually before rehab). And with the Yankees upcoming two-game series against the Red Sox in London (the first-ever MLB game played in the U.K.), there seems to be heightened anticipation for the face of the franchise to return.
But to that, I say, pish-posh. Surely MLB wants one of their cash cows to make a splash across the pond, and further establish their brand in a country known for the other football.
Putting dollars and cents aside for a moment, Judge has yet to face live pitching since injuring himself back on April 20. Manager Aaron Boone told Kristie Ackert of the Daily News that Judge recently took BP in the cage and has begun light defensive work.
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"“Don’t say I said that he’s going to be back by London, but is there a way? Yes. But that’s something that we’ll let the timeline continue to unfold,” the Yankees’ manager said before Wednesday night’s game against the Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre. “Bottom line is that he’s been feeling really good now for a couple weeks where we feel like the injury is out of there. Now it’s because the injury kind of knocks you from doing things, he’s got to get built up a little bit differently than some guys coming back. So as long as he continues to respond and he builds up, we feel good about where he’s at.”"
Boone was careful to commit to anything, especially when getting Judge game ready in less than three weeks is presumptive.
Not to mention, the Yankees will play a day game in New York on June 26, and then jump on a seven-hour flight to England, only to play two games on artificial turf on the 29th and 30th.
Is that the type of environment you want your undisputable game-changer walking into?
Losing three games in a row for the first time all season, the Yanks are beginning to show that it would be a comforting solution for the bulk of their star players to return to active duty.
But unless Judge is activated a week or so in advance of the long flight, the club would be wise to wait on him until July 2, when they are back in New York to take on the Mets.