Yankees’ ambitious ‘big 3’ hopes in disarray with Aaron Judge’s injury scare

Yankees Aaron Judge is in a pensive mood at dugout of Yankee stadium after hit by a pitch while playing against the Orioles on June 18, 2024
Esteban Quiñones
Wednesday June 19, 2024

Table of Contents

The New York Yankees have spent the 2024 season dodging bullet after bullet. With key players teetering on the edge of long-term injuries, the team has managed to stay afloat against all odds. Gerrit Cole is set to return to the mound, but the recent injury scare involving Aaron Judge has the Yankees holding their collective breath. Less than 14 days back, Juan Soto faced an injury scare too. As the Yankees gear up for the return of their ace, they must grapple with the reality of a season fraught with injury scares, which could have easily derailed their campaign.

Today’s the big day. Will the Yankees finally be able to field their Big 3 or will the injury ghosts creep in, and make the 2023 glimpse a reality?

Yankees are so close to the dream scenario

The Yankees are so close. So close to realizing the dream scenario of having Gerrit Cole, Aaron Judge, and Juan Soto forming a formidable Big Three. The excitement was palpable as Cole prepared for his return, but then… anxiety struck.

The Yankees managed a crucial 4-2 victory over the Orioles, but the win was overshadowed by a potential crisis. Aaron Judge was hit on the left hand by a 94 mph fastball from Albert Suarez, leading off the third inning. Aaron Judge played through the bottom of that frame but was then removed for imaging. Manager Aaron Boone summed up the mixed emotions, saying, “Lots to be excited about in that win, but obviously concern for the captain. We will see what we got and hopefully we avoided something.”

Yankees' Aaron Judge leaves the game after getting hit by a 94mph fastball against the Baltimore Orioles on 18th June, 2024.
New York Post

Initial tests for Judge showed no fractures, but there was still significant swelling. Aaron Judge remained optimistic about being on the field for Cole’s return, saying the X-ray and CT scan were negative. This incident echoed the scare earlier this month with Juan Soto, who battled forearm inflammation but thankfully avoided a more severe injury.

Gerrit Cole’s timely return

Gerrit Cole, the Yankees’ ace, missed the entire season so far due to a right elbow injury. However, he is set to make his much-anticipated return against the Orioles. Cole looked sharp in his final rehab start, striking out 10 over 4 1/3 innings for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Although he is not yet at full strength, the Yankees believe he is ready to rejoin the rotation.

Yankees' star Gerrit Cole during a rehab game with Somerset Patriots in 2024

Cole’s absence could have been catastrophic, but the Yankees’ pitching staff rose to the occasion. Led by rookie sensation Luis Gil and a resurgent Carlos Rodón, the rotation has been stellar. The Yankees boast an MLB-best 50-24 record, largely due to their league-leading 2.90 ERA from starting pitchers. The return of Cole is seen as the final piece to solidify an already impressive rotation.

Juan Soto’s injury scare

Just two weeks ago, Juan Soto provided the Yankees with another injury scare. Soto missed a series against the Los Angeles Dodgers due to left forearm inflammation. He underwent treatment and testing, which showed significant improvement, but the issue remains a concern. Soto acknowledged that the inflammation might not resolve quickly, and the Yankees are cautious about his workload.

In yesterday’s game against the Orioles, Soto was involved in a collision with third baseman Jordan Westburg, who left the game with hip discomfort. Soto was unharmed.

Aaron Judge’s spring training setback

The injury concerns for the Yankees began as early as spring training. Aaron Judge experienced discomfort in his abdominal area, requiring an MRI that returned a negative result. Although Judge insisted he was fully healthy, the incident was a reminder of his history with oblique injuries.

Yankees’ 2023 season marred by injuries

The 2023 season unfolded like a grim tale of misfortune for the Yankees. It was a year marked by a staggering list of injuries, from Rodon’s earlier troubles to Stanton’s hamstring woes. The team’s depth was tested time and again, as key players like Aaron Judge, Anthony Rizzo, Harrison Bader, Giancarlo Stanton, DJ LeMahieu, and Josh Donaldson among many others faced extended periods on the injured list.

As Gerrit Cole prepares to make his season debut, the Yankees must hope their injury luck takes a turn for the better. The potential return of the Big Three—Cole, Judge, and Soto—offers a glimmer of hope for a team that has shown remarkable resilience. However, the constant threat of injury looms large, and the Yankees must navigate the remainder of the season with caution. The path to the playoffs is fraught with challenges, but will the Yankees emerge succesfull? What do you think? Leave your comment below!

Related posts:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join the Pinstripes Nation!

Your Daily Dose of Yankees Magic Delivered to Your Inbox

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Don't Miss Any of the Latest Yankees News, Rumors, and Exclusive Offers!