Could've been better. Could've been worse. Either way, the New York Yankees will have to survive at least the next week without Aaron Judge, who, as expected, will land on the injured list with a toe injury.
Per manager Aaron Boone after the team's 3-2 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night, it's a contusion and sprain of a ligament in Judge's toe. These Yankees diagnoses are always seem more complicated than they need to be as the team looks to hide as much information as possible, but the key here is that the word "fracture" wasn't mentioned.
Many feared either a toe fracture or a more concerning foot injury for the AL MVP frontrunner after his collision with the Dodger Stadium right field wall, which is now being "updated" by the Dodgers in wake of the incident.
But this is the next best news the Yankees could've gotten. It was evident Judge was injured since he was out of the lineup for Sunday Night Baseball and then again on Tuesday after Monday's off day, so everyone was waiting on the severity.
Though this will impact Judge's MVP candidacy since it'll be his second IL stint of the season, he'll still have a good case as long as he spends closer to the minimum amount of time on the shelf and can go the rest of the way without any injury interruptions.
Yankees reveal Aaron Judge's injury diagnosis after announcing IL stint
Though it's beyond frustrating the Yankees just got back a number of reinforcements, including Giancarlo Stanton and Tommy Kahnle, only to see Judge out of action again, this team has proven to be resilient in the early going as the hits keep on coming.
Judge is this team's engine. He leads the AL with 19 home runs, a .674 slugging percentage, a 1.078 OPS and a 192 OPS+ through his 49 games played. The Yankees went 3-6 last time he was on the IL with a hip issue, but they also didn't have Stanton for that stretch and only had Harrison Bader for the back end of it.
The baseball world was hit with a lot of tough news Tuesday. In addition to Judge missing time, Jacob deGrom will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the entire 2023 season and likely most of 2024, delivering a massive blow to the surging Texas Rangers.
It could always be worse. And the good news is that the Yankees will face the struggling White Sox (home), Red Sox (home) and Mets before Judge is eligible to return for a weekend series at Fenway for another matchup with the Sox. Get through that and hope that Rays trip up a bit against the Twins and Rangers. It's all fans can ask for right now.