While the Yankees are adding pieces to their pitching staff, they’re about to lose the All-Star in the middle of their lineup.
Aaron Judge took a pitch to the wrist in the first inning of Thursday’s 7-2 win over the Kansas City Royals. After attempting to play through the injury, Judge left the game to undergo further testing.
It was determined that Judge suffered a chip fracture in his right wrist, and will not be able to swing a bat in a game situation for three weeks.
It’s a big blow to the Yankees, who put catcher Gary Sanchez on the DL earlier this week. The Yankees are trailing the league-leading Red Sox in the AL East, and have a 4.5 game lead over the Mariners for the first Wild Card spot.
After hitting 52 homers in his first full season as a Yankee, Judge has had anything but a sophomore slump. He’ll head to the DL with 26 home runs, currently ranked fifth in the league. The Yankees have depended upon Judge and the longball this season, hitting 19 more dingers than any other team.
Judge walked after taking the pitch to the wrist, then stayed in the game. He had an infield hit in his next at-bat, but was then replaced in the lineup by Miguel Andujar.
Judge has spent most of the season in right field, but was the designated hitter on Thursday. It’ll likely mean increased right field duties for Giancarlo Stanton, who has spent most of his time with the Yankees in the DH role. Aaron Hicks could also slide over and play right field, something he’s done in over 60 games for the team over the last two seasons.
What Is A Chip Fracture?
According to the National Institutes of Health, a chip fracture involves a fracture of the triquetrum, one of eight wrist bones known as the carpus. The triquetrum is one of several bones located between the two major bones in the forearm.
The NIH recommends that the wrist be immobilized for three weeks. So when reports say that Aaron Judge can’t swing a bat for three weeks, it could be much worse. Aaron Judge shouldn’t even move his wrist for three weeks, with a full healing of the bone fragment taking place over six to eight weeks.
The Yankees are in the playoff hunt, but Aaron Judge is a franchise cornerstone. Aaron Judge is 24 years old, and if the wrist doesn’t heal properly there could be additional time missed in the future. A six-week absence sets his return for early September, a few weeks before the final day of the regular season.
Source: Heavy Sports