aaron judge yankees
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees are without slugger Aaron Judge for a prolonged period of time because of his toe injury after breaking the outfield wall at Dodger Stadium. That’s bad news for any team, but especially the Bombers.

While he was named the American League MVP after last year’s historic season, his presence is even more important to New York. There’s one stat that sums up his 2023 impact perfectly, too.

Judge has played in 49 games for the Yankees this season around two stints on the injured list. Across 213 plate appearances, he’s been just as good as last year (maybe even a little better). He’s slashing .291/.404/.674 with 19 home runs, 42 RBI, and 40 runs scored. That’s led to a 189 wRC+ and 2.8 fWAR.

And, it’s really simple. When Judge is in the lineup, the Yankees score runs. If he’s not playing, New York morphs into one of the league’s worst offensive teams. Check it out:

The Yankees average 4.9 runs per game when Judge plays, and 3.4 runs per game when Judge isn’t playing. In comparison, the team with the fewest runs scored this season is the Detroit Tigers who average 3.5 runs per game this season.
by u/Boldest19 in NYYankees

Woof, dude. That’s not what we want to see. It makes sense because Judge is so impactful when he’s healthy and producing. He’s not the only slugger that’s missed time this season, but still. For a team like the Yankees, that’s incredibly troubling. It’s not like they don’t have one of baseball’s highest payrolls that include established veterans who have past track records of success.

Someone is going to have to step up in the meantime. Who exactly that will be is still to be determined. The Yankees will have a chance to get right at Citi Field on Tuesday and Wednesday against a similarly struggling offense without its big bopper in the Mets. So, we’ll see if either of them finds a way to put up some crooked numbers.

You can reach Matt Musico at matt.musico@xlmedia.com. You can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.

Matt Musico is an editor for ESNY. He’s been writing about baseball and the Mets for the past decade. His work has been featured on numberFire, MetsMerized Online, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo! Sports.