Starlin Castro may have been reactivated this weekend, but the New York Yankees need him fully healthy in order to compete again.

Remember the beginning of the season when the weather was chilly, but the hype surrounding the New York Yankees was red-hot?

A lot of that had to do with powerhouse outfielder Aaron Judge. Yet, sneaking in with some significant contributions was the second baseman, Starlin Castro.

That is until he pulled his hamstring on Jun. 26 and was sentenced to the 10-day DL. Because, naturally, when a player is performing well, the universe works against them.

Since Castro disappeared from the Yankees lineup, the squad went a dismal 4-9. They were clearly missing the hot bat Castro brought to their game.

In that time frame, every good thing fell apart for the Yankees. They began to struggle in the ‘pen and make costly errors. While the beginning of the year was ripe with potential, that quickly fell apart.

Nobody can say that all of this would not have happened had Castro stayed healthy. However, he played a huge role for the Yankees, serving as another powerful and consistent threat behind Judge.

Castro may be back, but he’s not the Castro fans got used to in the beginning of the season. He’s fragile, running gingerly and it is limiting his game. He’s definitely not fully recovered and it might end up hurting the Yankees in their playoff hunt.

Against the Red Sox on Saturday, Castro could have stretched a double off Chris Sale into a triple. He also barely made it to first on a throwing error, simply by running tenderly. He may be back from injury, but he’s not even close to 100%.

And that is not good for the Yankees. If Castro was able to take that extra base or make those extra efforts to put the Yankees in a better position, that 16-inning marathon would’ve been over sooner. He might have sparked a rally. Only great things come from a Castro who is as healthy as can be.

We saw it early on in the season. The Yankees were incredible and that was partially due to Castro’s inspired play. He made everyone around him better and the Yankees turned that into several victories.

Castro at any percent is good, but he’s shown the Yankees what he’s fully capable of. When Castro is hot, the Bombers find ways to win. When he’s not fully healthy, he’s okay, but the Yankees fare so much better when he’s at full strength.

Castro takes the pressure off some of the other guys in the lineup. He goes up with confidence and always seems to come through when he’s healthy. The rest of the lineup doesn’t have to worry about doing anything overly flashy … Castro and Judge are taking that attention and allow everyone to relax and just hit.

Once Castro starts raking like he did early this season, the pressure is off Judge to perform and him and the rest of the team will look more comfortable at the plate.

Castro is batting .312 on the season and was leading the league in hits prior to his injury. He was getting on and making magic happen for the New York Yankees.

They’re in panic mode. They have to quickly decide whether they want to be contenders, or if they’re content with sticking a fork in this season.

With a partially injured Castro, they are pretenders. The only way they can have a shot at contending is if Castro is at full strength. Right now, he’s not.

Starlin Castro gave the Yankees his-all before his injury. He helped pick up his teammates who were struggling and took on a clutch role in the lineup. That’s the Castro they need if they want to win, not a partially injured one.

Castro has proven to be a huge asset to that lineup and if you think the Yankees can make the playoffs without him helping lead the way, you’re crazy.

When Castro is healthy and ready to go, the Yankees will make a run. And he’ll be leading the charge.

Allison is just a girl with an enormous passion for the game of baseball and the written word. Based in Upstate New York, her life-long relationship with the New York Yankees is something that she developed through close relationships with her mother and grandfather. An aspiring sports writer, she graduated with a journalism degree and is finding places to share her excitement about the sporting world and how it affects us all.