Aaron Boone breaks silence on benching Judge against Orioles

Yankees' manager Aaron Boone with Aaron Judge during an MLB game.
Amanda Paula
Wednesday August 2, 2023

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New York Yankees’ manager, Aaron Boone, found himself in the spotlight during his weekly appearance on the popular “Talkin’ Yanks” podcast. While navigating through a range of tense questions about the team’s recent struggles and trade deadline moves, one particular query from host Jake Storiale set off a heated response from Boone.

Storiale questioned Boone’s decision to sit star outfielder Aaron Judge during the Yankees’ game against the Orioles last Sunday. From a fan’s perspective, it felt like a surrender in a crucial game against a division-leading team. The host inquired about whether there would be a greater sense of urgency to play Judge in such critical matchups.

Boone’s defense

Boone swiftly responded, defending his choice to protect Aaron Judge’s health and well-being. The manager pointed out that Judge had not participated in a rehab game and needed to ease back into his role after recovering from torn ligaments in his toe. Boone emphasized the importance of being cautious, stating, “We’re gonna get him here so we could get some games with him in the big leagues in a rehab situation.”

Regarding the significance of the game against the Orioles, Boone challenged Storiale to consider the upcoming crucial matchups against Tampa and the weekend games in Houston. He noted that Judge, after a lengthy absence, wasn’t in a position to play every day right away.

Prioritizing Judge’s health

Aaron Judge, a vital component of the Yankees’ roster, had been sidelined for almost two months due to his injury sustained during a game at Dodger Stadium. However, he made a triumphant return on July 28 in a pivotal weekend series against the Orioles in Baltimore. Since his return, the Yankees have been cautious in managing his workload, opting for him to be the designated hitter in three out of four starts.

Despite sitting Judge the day after his impactful home run against the Orioles, Boone believes it is essential to prioritize the player’s long-term health and prevent further injury setbacks.

The Yankees are undoubtedly keen to have their star outfielder back in full force, but they understand the significance of allowing Judge ample time to fully recover before pushing him back into everyday play.

The debate over player management will always be a topic of discussion in the MLB, especially when it involves star players like Aaron Judge. Boone’s passionate defense of his decision showcases the importance of balancing a player’s competitive spirit with a commitment to their long-term health.

As the season progresses, the spotlight on the Yankees and Aaron Judge will likely intensify, and fans will eagerly watch to see how the team’s cautious approach pays off in the long run.

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