Yankees injury latest: Aaron Judge to have tests on Monday, Cortes heads to IL

Aaron Judge and Nestor Cortes of the New York Yankees at Dodger Stadium, LA, on June 4, 2023.

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Aaron Judge couldn’t be part of the Yankees’ 4-1 victory over the Dodgers on Sunday after he ended up with a sore right big toe sustained during a remarkable running catch in Saturday’s game. The Yankees captain banged his toe against the concrete at the base of the right-field fence during the catch.

On Monday, Aaron Judge is scheduled to undergo a comprehensive examination as the Yankees return to New York. It will involve X-rays and other tests. While the Yankees captain did not dismiss the possibility of landing on the injured list, the decision will depend on the results.

Earlier this season, Aaron Judge was sidelined for 10 games due to a hip strain, and the team’s performance suffered, winning only four out of six games during his absence. However, since his return, the Yankees power hitter has been in outstanding form, boasting a .325 batting average, 13 home runs, and an impressive 1.313 OPS in 23 games, in addition to his remarkable defensive contributions in right field.

Manager Aaron Boone revealed that there is a strong likelihood of placing Yankees starter Nestor Cortes on the injured list. Cortes has been dealing with discomfort and “achiness” in his pitching shoulder. As a precautionary measure, he is scheduled to undergo an MRI in New York to assess the extent of the issue.

Yankees worried after Aaron Judge’s sensational catch

Yankees captain Aaron Judge busted the bullpen door at Dodger Stadium while making a spectacular catch on June 3, 2023.

During the eighth inning of Saturday’s 6-3 victory, Aaron Judge sustained an injury while chasing down a long hit to left field by Dodgers’ designated hitter J.D. Martinez. Sprinting at full speed, He collided his right foot forcefully with the wall, resulting in a right toe injury. As a result, Aaron Judge was unable to participate in the series finale against the Dodgers on Sunday, and there is uncertainty regarding his availability for future games.

Observing the remarkable catch from the Yankees’ dugout, Boone was filled with apprehension, concerned that Aaron Judge might have sustained an injury.

Although Aaron Judge forcefully collided his shoulder with the chain-link section of the fence, fortunately, it seems he managed to escape any significant upper-body injuries due to the slight flexibility of the barrier. However, his toe did not fare as well in the impact.

Following Saturday’s game, Aaron Judge maintained during his interview with reporters that he was “feeling fine,” but he may not have fully conveyed the intensity of the impact his foot endured against the concrete. Nonetheless, on Sunday, the Yankees anxiously awaited the outcome, hoping that Aaron Judge’s remarkable catch from the previous day would not lead to an extended period on the sidelines.

The Yankees captain told that he was not thinking about the potential of being placed on the injured list, indicating that he was not too bothered by it. While he hoped to avoid being sidelined, he acknowledged the uncertainty of the situation. Aaron Judge remained optimistic that a period of rest on Sunday and Monday would allow him to return to the lineup on Tuesday. However, he emphasized the need to assess his condition on a daily basis.

However, he admitted that it was difficult for him to determine the extent of his injury. Aaron Judge mentioned that he had never experienced a broken toe before and stated that he would wait for the results of the tests before drawing any conclusions or making any assumptions about his injury.

After the game, manager Aaron Boone confirmed that Aaron Judge was not available to be used as a pinch hitter due to his ongoing treatment for the injury. Boone mentioned that the Yankees power hitter experienced significant soreness on Saturday night and Sunday morning, although he showed some improvement in his mobility later in the afternoon. The team will continue to monitor his condition and assess the situation going forward.

Aaron Judge acknowledged on Sunday that his condition had been troublesome from the start. According to him, as the adrenaline subsided, the discomfort intensified, accompanied by some swelling. He accepted it as a normal part of dealing with such injuries.

The Player of the Month for May expressed his anticipation for undergoing a series of tests to assess his condition. He expressed hope that by Tuesday the Yankees would have a clearer understanding of what he is dealing with.

Due to receiving treatment on Sunday morning, Aaron Judge was unable to provide any comments during the media availability session.

Yankees expect Nestor Cortes to move to IL

nestor-cortes-ny-yankees
(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Nestor Cortes will likely spend the next 15 days on the disabled list after suffering a shoulder injury. The Yankees starter is scheduled to undergo an MRI on the team’s off day on Monday to assess the extent of his condition.

Boone reassured that Cortes’ injury doesn’t appear to be too severe, but acknowledged the recurring discomfort the pitcher has been facing during his recovery between starts. The Yankees will closely assess the situation to determine the extent of the issue.

Cortes did not indicate any discomfort during his recent interviews, and he was not present for comments before Sunday’s game. He recorded a solid performance in his previous start, giving up two runs in five innings during a Tuesday night game against Seattle. He secured the win as the Yankees triumphed 10-2. With a 5-2 record and a 5.16 ERA in 11 starts this season, Cortes has been a valuable contributor to the team.

The Yankees starter expressed his lack of concern regarding his shoulder issue after the Yankees’ 4-1 victory against the Dodgers on Sunday. He attributed the discomfort to significant soreness and an inability to recover adequately between starts. Cortes expressed hope that the upcoming MRI on Monday would provide a clear assessment of the situation and allow for early intervention and improvement.

Either Randy Vazquez or Jhony Brito will be summoned from Triple-A to fill the void in the Yankees rotation left by Cortes. The chosen pitcher will make his start on Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium against the White Sox.

Both young right-handed pitchers have had previous stints with the team earlier this season. Vazquez, who has a record of 0-1 with a 3.86 ERA in one start for the Yankees, would be starting on his regular rest. On the other hand, Brito, who has a record of 3-3 with a 5.58 ERA in 10 games (including nine starts), would have an additional day of rest before his potential start.

Boone indicated that he had a potential candidate in mind for the starting role, but he mentioned that the final decision will be made in the coming days.

Cortes clarified that he didn’t experience any discomfort in his shoulder during his pitching outings, but rather felt the pain during the recovery period between his recent starts. The Yankees starter explained that the discomfort and difficulty have been increasing during the recovery period between his starts. He mentioned that he decided to speak up about it on Saturday, as the usual soreness experienced on the day after a start persisted for a longer duration. He noticed that the second and third days felt similar and there was no noticeable improvement in his recovery.

The left-handed Yankees starter expressed his belief that the issue might be related to inflammation but emphasized the need to rely on the results of the imaging tests. He expressed hope that the images would reveal a better prognosis than anticipated.

Yankees injury issues

The injuries to Judge and Cortes add to the ongoing challenges faced by the Yankees, who have been plagued by a significant number of injuries over the past five years. During the Yankees’ recent West Coast trip that commenced in Seattle, the team experienced their fourth and fifth injuries. Center fielder Harrison Bader was placed on the injured list with a hamstring strain last Tuesday, and over the weekend, reliever Ryan Weber and outfielder Greg Allen joined the IL with a forearm strain and hip flexor injury, respectively.

As of Saturday, the Yankees had a staggering number of 10 players on the injured list, with the majority consisting of eight pitchers. Throughout the entire season, the team has seen a total of 16 players make trips to the IL, accumulating a combined 19 stints.

Last season, the Yankees faced the challenge of having 28 players on the injured list, resulting in a total of 33 stints. As for the 2021 season, they experienced even more significant injury woes, with 35 players making appearances on the IL, amounting to a staggering 49 stints.

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