NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 17: Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees comes home to score a run on a walk against the Houston Astros during the first inningin game four of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium on October 17, 2019 in New York City.
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Aaron Judge is headed to the injured list with a calf strain despite his allegedly being healthy enough to play just two days ago.

Josh Benjamin

New York Yankees star outfielder Aaron Judge is headed to the injured list with a right calf strain, manager Aaron Boone said ahead of Friday’s game. Bryan Hoch of MLB.com was first with the news and added Boone does not believe Judge will be out long.

Lindsey Adler of The Athletic further reported that the Yankees were being precautionary with their superstar.

Aaron Judge was off to a tremendous start in 2020 after missing spring training with a stress fracture in his ribs. The two-time All-Star is batting .290 and leads the majors with nine home runs and 20 RBI.

Judge’s injury first came to light in Tuesday’s tilt with the Atlanta Braves when he noticeably winced rounding second base after hitting a home run. Mike Tauchman took over in right field, but Judge stayed in the dugout to watch the game instead of going to the dugout for treatment.

Boone explained the move as just wanting to give Judge some innings off since he hadn’t had a day off yet. Judge was then absent from Wednesday’s lineup, and Boone then said it was just to give him a day off because of “lower body soreness.”

Now, Judge is on the injured list. Infielder Thairo Estrada has been recalled in the meantime.

Judge Goes Down Again

There’s good news and bad news here. The good news is that even though Aaron Judge is on the IL (again), this really doesn’t seem overly serious. It’s a shorter season. Judge was ready to play Wednesday, but what if he had gotten hurt worse? In a shortened season, that could have proven catastrophic.

However, the bad news is that this is a terrible look for the Yankees, especially Aaron Boone. Yes, keeping injuries close to the vest is common practice, but this was just bad communicating from the get-go. Anytime a top player with a history of injuries is removed from a game early, the injury alarms are going to go off. Aaron Judge is no exception to this regardless of his star power.

That said, why couldn’t Boone have just said on Tuesday that Judge was dealing with lower body soreness? The “I just wanted to give him a few innings off” argument doesn’t make sense. The Yankees were up 8-3 in the sixth inning, and the Braves rallied a bit before falling 9-6. The argument would have made more sense if it were 18-3, but not here.

And though it’s frustrating that Boone took an extra day to admit Judge was aching, he did also point out Judge could have played Wednesday. In fact, Judge was ready and raring to go. But leg injuries are tricky and can go south fast, so it sounds like the injured list is just to give Judge some extra time off in this marathon of a season.

The Yankees take on the Boston Red Sox tonight at 7 p.m. ET.

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