Aaron Judge yankees
Tim Heitman | USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees have activated star outfielder, team captain, and reigning MVP Aaron Judge from the injured list. Judge has missed the last eight weeks recovering from a torn ligament in his toe and returns in time for a critical series against Baltimore.

Infielder Oswald Peraza has been optioned to Triple-A to make room on the roster. The team also designated outfielder Willie Calhoun for assignment after activating him from the IL.

Judge was batting .294 with 19 home runs and 40 RBI before his injury. He has said his return would not be “pain-free.”

The American League home run king was off to a torrid start before his freak injury in Los Angeles while making a leaping catch off the outfield wall against the Dodgers. From early June:

After having a day off on Thursday, the Yankees will begin a three-game set against the Dodgers in Los Angeles on Friday. Outfielder Aaron Judge will be in the lineup, and he’s feeling some kind of way after a huge month of May.

A strained right hip forced Judge to the Injured List at the beginning of the month. He returned to the lineup on May 9th, and he’s been on fire ever since. Despite only racking up 97 plate appearances, Judge slashed .342/.474/.882 with 12 home runs, 25 RBI, and 23 runs scored.

After a historic 2022 campaign in which he broke the American League’s single-season home run record, it wouldn’t have been fair to expect him to hit another 60-plus. But, not thinking about it is impossible because of how similar his start to this season is compared to last year.

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Josh Benjamin has been a staff writer at ESNY since 2018. He has had opinions about everything, especially the Yankees and Knicks. He co-hosts the “Bleacher Creatures” podcast and is always looking for new pieces of sports history to uncover, usually with a Yankee Tavern chicken parm sub in hand.