The Yankees season has again been punctuated with injuries for high-profile players, but manager Aaron Boone tells reporters that both Aaron Judge is Giancarlo Stanton could get at-pip on the alternative training site this weekend and come back “shortly after” if all goes well (Link to Twitter, with video, via SNY). On a less optimistic note, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch tweets which Boone also acknowledged will be “challenging”
Last month the judge missed nearly two weeks at the start due to a calf injury and returned for just one game before returning to the IL with further calf problems. Stanton, meanwhile, only played 14 games in 2020 due to a hamstring strain that set him aside for more than a month.
It is the second consecutive injury of the season for the pair of former 50-hitters homers. Both were excellent when on the court – the judge is hitting .292 / .343 / .738 and Stanton .293 / .453 / .585 – but they only combined 125 trips to the plate. The timing of their return next week is crucial. The Yankees will host the Blue Jays for three games starting Tuesday, and will travel to face them in a four-game set the following week. The Jays recently overtook the Yankees in the standings and now hold a two-game lead over Boone’s club, who are clinging to the number 8 seed after losing seven of their last ten games.
The news about Paxton is not good but it is also not unexpected after last night’s update that it would be prevented from launching for a few days following the pain in its last launch session. Paxton, who also underwent back surgery in February, has been limited to five ineffective starts for the Yankees so far in 2020 and has been out since Aug.21 due to a Grade 1 flexor strain.
Boone hasn’t completely ruled out a return in 2020, and a long post-season run for the Yankees would obviously have improved his chances of recovery enough to return to the mound. However, the uncertainty surrounding his return date also creates the possibility that Paxton, a free agent this winter, has launched his final launch for the Yankees.