If said player getting a day off wasn’t Judge, there’d be minimal hoopla. But we all know how Yankees fans are always waiting with bated breath when it comes to updates about their star slugger, especially when he’s not playing when the Yankees have pause in action on Thursday.
Ever since the start of 2018, Judge has been unable to stay healthy, whether the ailments that took him down were run-of-the-mill or of the freak-injury variety. Either way, it’s been bad.
He’s played in 242 of a possible 384 games over the last three years so the topic is understandably sensitive.
And when manager Aaron Boone drops this bit of information on fans in the middle of the afternoon, everyone can’t help but think, “Great, here comes another lingering issue that’s going to cost us six weeks.”
Judge is on the bench today because he was “sore in his side” on Tuesday. Five games in. How is this considered “wear and tear”? The season just started! And he rested the final three games of the spring!
If this didn’t feel like deja vu, it wouldn’t be newsworthy. But we’ve heard the exact opening to this story before and fans aren’t going to feel good about it until they see consistent playing time without frequent stops in between.
Judge is the Yankees’ best player. He’s one of those guys who should be in the lineup every day with off days few and far between. But the amount of battling he’s had to do since 2018 still likely has him looking to get his body back on track, and the Yankees know they need to be as smart as possible when it comes to handling his long-term health.
But this is especially alarming because Judge is the Bombers’ hottest hitter. He’s homered in two straight games and boasts a .364/.391/.636 slash line with three runs scored, two bombs and five RBI in the team’s first five games. With so many other Yankees hitters getting off to a dreadfully slow start, wouldn’t you think the one constant should be in the starting lineup to help the team sweep their opponent right before a scheduled day off?
Here’s to hoping we don’t have a worse update for you in the next day or two.