Aaron Judge injury update: Right hip MRI completed, Yankees in limbo

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Yankees captain Aaron Judge had an MRI on Friday to get a better look at his hip. The power hitter had to leave Thursday’s Yankees vs. Rangers game at Globe Life Field with a “grabbing” issue.

After the Yankees’ 5-2 defeat to the Rangers, Aaron Judge was expected to meet with a doctor to go over the results of the tests. But the club has yet to make any decisions while waiting for team doctor Chris Ahmad to review the results.

On Friday, the reigning AL MVP took his first day off this season, but the Yankees still didn’t know how long Aaron Judge may be out.

Aaron Judge undergoes MRI

The Yankees were waiting for the results of testing on skipper Aaron Judge’s right hip, so he didn’t play on Friday. According to Yankees manager Aaron Boone, the test was administered to Aaron Judge’s hip, not his right hand, which was impacted during a hard slide on Wednesday.

“It doesn’t seem too serious, but that said, we still don’t have a clear picture of it yet,” Boone said.

Boone said that he was unsure whether Aaron Judge would still need a move to the injured list. The MRI did reveal “something,” he admitted but confirmed that there was nothing too serious.

The Yankees did not immediately respond to the scan results. Aside from promoting Jake Bauers from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to join the Yankees taxi squad, nothing else changed with the club’s 26-man roster. Bauers hit .319 with nine home runs in 21 games.

“It was two-fold, obviously to give us some coverage there, but he could be in play anyway moving forward,” Boone said of the move with Bauers. “But definitely wanted to put ourselves in a position to be covered just in case.”

When Aaron Judge’s right hip started hurting, he had to leave Thursday’s game against Texas. With two outs in his two at-bats, he was removed from right field in the fourth inning.

Yankees Aaron Judge is at Globe Life Field in Arlington against the Texas Rangers on April 28, 2023 after exiting the game following a hip injury.

“He just said he woke up and felt better today. So hopefully that’s an encouraging sign,” said manager Aaron Boone before the Friday’s game. “But again, he’s going to see the doctor here in a little bit, and we’ll have a better idea.”

Yankees Waiting game

Boone said the Yankees were waiting for Dr. Christopher Ahmad to review Judge’s MRI findings from earlier that day in Texas.

“When we have that,” the manager told. “we’ll know.”

Aaron Judge didn’t speak to the press before in Arlington though the 31-year-old was in the Yankees dugout wearing casual dresses. A hoodie and baseball trousers were all he had on at the time.

The injury scare

In Wednesday night’s game against the Twins, he was sliding into third base when the incident occurred. Instead of sliding, Judge got his hands caught in the bag and almost went over on his legs. After the fall, Judge threw his right hand in the air and walked off the field.

The weight of his body drove his right hand into the ground as his shoulders advanced in front of his arms. Without slowing down, Aaron Judge raced across the field and up the tunnel to the locker room.

Despite saying afterward that he never could loosen up, Aaron Judge stayed in the game on his 31st birthday and also started the season opener in Texas.

“Just the whole right side of the body when you do a have a pretty bad slide like that, you know, you kind of feel it the next day,” Aaron Judge said after the Yankees’ 4-2 win at Texas.

Already unavailable for New York were Giancarlo Stanton, Harrison Bader, and Josh Donaldson and six pitchers.

Aaron Judge celebrates with Giancarlo Stanton after two homers against the Orioles, Apr 09, 2023.
(AP Photo/Steve Ruark)

On Friday, Aaron Judge was up to bat. He hit .267 with six homers and fourteen RBIs in 25 games. For the Yankees’ first 26 games this season, Judge started every game (16 in center field, 6 in right field, and 4 at DH). With Hicks and Isiah Kiner-Falefa as potential replacements in center field and Willie Calhoun and Bauers as potential replacements in right field, the Yankees would have to rely on others to help cover for him if he were to miss time.

“It seems like it could be day-to-day, but it also could be a short [IL] stint,” Boone said. “We’ll have to see when Dr. Ahmad weighs in and see where we’re at [Saturday] with it.”

Is Aaron Judge heading to the IL?

Boone said that a 10-day IL for Aaron Judge was a distinct possibility. The offloading of Franchy Cordero to Triple-A suggests that the Yankees may not send their captain to the injured list.

As he put it, “It looks like it could be a day-to-day thing, but it could also be a short (IL) stint.”

The Yankees can utilize Bauers even if Aaron Judge doesn’t have to go on the IL. The Yankees reassigned outfielder Franchy Cordero to Triple-A after Friday’s defeat. Bauers hit .319 with 9 HR, 20 RBI, and an OPS of 1.271 in 21 games with the RailRiders. At the start of the 2018 season, the 27-year-old Bauers was already considered a top-45 talent by Baseball America. Over a period of three seasons and 328 games, he has yet to hit .213 in those games.

Friday afternoon it seemed that he would be promoted from the taxi squad to the active roster, either to replace Aaron Judge if he went on the injured list or because of his strong performance at the RailRiders.

However, the Yankees were unable to make a call until they knew Judge’s status. On Friday, Aaron Judge woke up feeling “better,” as described by Boone.

“Look, he’s arguably the best player in the sport and it’s no secret what he means to our team,” Boone said before the game. “Hopefully we don’t lose him for long. But we got a game to play.”

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