The New York Yankees organization received an unwarranted break with Aaron Judge’s knee injury.
The New York Yankees had yet to grasp reality. It had come to a point in which an Aaron Judge call-up was inevitable. No doubt remained in a fan, coach, or scout’s mind regarding the number two overall prospect in the organization.
Simply put: he was ready.
However, the current mindset continuing to plague the Yanks is one of hesitancy. For years they have spoken highly of the kids, praised them, hyped them up to be the next “core” group of talent which would lead the franchise back to the promise land.
Yet, that simple factor of hesitancy keeps an illustrious franchise possessing 27 world championships from pulling the trigger, calling them up, introducing them to ‘The Show’.
So here we are. It is July 12, the All-Star Game is about to be played in San Diego, the New York Yankees are a mediocre team, and their current mediocre-based organization just received the news that their Triple-A right fielder will be sidelined for a relatively extensive period.
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The same guy who slashed .307/.443/.591 with nine homers and 29 RBIs in 35 games since June 1 will be rehabbing his knee with no clear path to the bigs in sight. A mild PCL sprain and a bone bruise will sideline this guy who was slugging .619 against lefties, a handedness their big league club slugs .389 against.
Again, he was ready.
Let’s face reality here: 24 years of age is pretty darn old for a prospect of Judge’s stature.
The true box office players that have anchored this decade in baseball – Bryce Harper and Mike Trout – came up at 19-years-old. These players need exposure, they need reps, they need at-bats against big league arms.
Ultimately, they need mistakes. Vital are the mistakes they make in their youth which they can uplift into positives they attribute to a successful career.
Rather than letting Judge burst upon the scene, or not, the front office had him grind it out and continue to question whether he was worthy of a call. Now, they get another undeserved break.
With the former first-round pick sidelined, an excuse lands in Brian Cashman’s pocket. Not it will be, “Judge is sidelined and we do not know whether he will be a major league option until 2017.” This is considering half a month ago it should have been, “Judge will join the 25-man big league roster and kick off his major league career.”
Keep in mind, this is in no way a knock on current right fielder and All-Star Carlos Beltran. The 39-year-old has been sensational and a Judge promotion should in no way be at his expense.
The team is getting their production out of right field, but why they did not think to receive it at the DH position will baffle anyone’s mind.
Believe it or not, this latest injury is a ‘win’ for the front office minds who refuse to face reality, sell the value which resides in the Bronx, and call up the value which resides in Scranton.
When they acquired Brian McCann prior to 2014, they displayed an inability to start a new era with a young Gary Sanchez behind the plate. After seven years in the minors, Sanchez still has an unclear road to the everyday big league playing time he deserves. When they acquired Starlin Castro prior to this season, they refused to show the faith in Rob Refsnyder to be an everyday option in the bigs.
Sure, Castro is younger. Sure, Refsnyder has produced in the bigs. That lies outside the point.
The future which should be receiving a righteous shot is being clogged at Yankee Stadium, and the people clogging the way are getting away with it.
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If it was not for an unexpected Greg Bird season-ending injury, a crime would have been committed. That crime would have been robbing big league plate appearances from a young, eager, and already productive-proven talent.
How many times will this transpire? Well, Yankee fans, you better hope this is the last.
Aaron Judge will rehab, he will return, he will produce, and he will not be producing in the bigs. While his development will be halted, the front office’s logic will remain inept.
Little did anyone know that incompetency is an acceptable route nowadays.