Return Date Finally Set For Aaron Judge: Can He Save The Yankees Season??

In a very-highly anticipated move, the New York Yankees are planning to activate their star outfielder and reigning AL MVP, Aaron Judge, off the injured list tomorrow (provided there are no last-minute setbacks with his toe injury).

The news was first reported by the New York Post, bringing a glimmer of hope to Yankees fans for a strong comeback.

Baseball is far from an individual sport in the sense that one player can’t exactly make-or-break your season.. But Judge may be the exception. The Bronx Bombers with-and-without Judge are two completely different teams in every single way. 

Judge has been sidelined since June 3, after he sustained a ligament tear in his toe during a collision with the Dodger Stadium fence.

Despite the injury, Judge expressed determination to play through the pain for the rest of the season, even acknowledging the possibility of surgery in the offseason.

“It’s not going to be pain-free, but we’ll just get as close to manageable as we can,” Judge candidly stated in an interview with MLB.com.

The 31-year-old outfielder has been steadily progressing in his recovery, with no reported setbacks or delays during the two weeks of baseball activities he underwent after the All-Star break.

Earlier this week, Judge headed to the Yankees spring training complex to participate in simulated games, batting practice, and base running to regain his rhythm.

According to Erik Boland of Newsday, things have been going quite well in Tampa.

“He hit a long home run to right-center in one of his at-bats and appeared to be moving around well. I did not see him favoring it (the toe)… I would be encouraged.”

Judge’s return comes at a crucial time for the Yankees, coinciding with an important six-game stretch against the Baltimore Orioles and the Tampa Bay Rays. These upcoming games will likely influence the team’s trade deadline strategy, determining whether they’ll be aggressive in buying or adopt a more conservative approach.

The Yankees have struggled offensively in Judge’s absence, with a record of 19-23 and an average of only 3.90 runs per game compared to 4.72 runs per game before his injury.

Changes were made to the coaching staff, and hitting coach Dillon Lawson was dismissed just before the All-Star break. Since then, under the guidance of new hitting coach Sean Casey, struggling veterans like DJ LeMahieu and Giancarlo Stanton have shown signs of improvement.

Judge has been a driving force for the Yankees this season, posting an impressive batting line of .291/.404/.674 with 19 home runs in 49 games. This year marks the first season of his lucrative nine-year, $360 million contract.

As the Yankees currently sit in last place in the AL East with a record of 54-48, they are still within striking distance of a postseason spot, trailing only by 2.5 games.

With Judge’s return on the horizon, Yankees fans and the team alike are hopeful that his presence will bolster their chances of making a strong playoff push as we enter the stretch run of the season.

Do you think Judge will save the Yankees season?

Can he make them into a legitimate World Series contender? Or are there just too many holes for the Bombers this season?

 

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