The New York Yankees were dealt a major blow to their hopes of winning the American League East on Thursday, as slugger Aaron Judge suffered a broken wrist that will keep him out of action for several weeks.
Judge was hit by a pitch by Jakub Junis in the first inning of the win against the Royals, though he stayed in the game for several more innings.
He scored the first run of the game and took a second at-bat in the third inning, reaching base on an infield single when shortstop Adalberto Mondesi botched a routine play. Miguel Andujar then came on to pinch-hit for him in the fourth and remained in the game as the designated hitter.
Manager Aaron Boone said Judge still wanted to remain in the game but the staff made the decision for him when his swing looked weak on the ground ball to Mondesi. However, Boone maintains that the second at-bat did not further aggravate the wrist.
“In watching him swing underneath we didn’t feel like the strength was there that he needed and at the time just didn’t want to take any more chances with it,” Boone said. “As you guys know, Judgey is as tough as they are, but we just wanted him to go get it taken care of and get ice, at least, and get to the bottom of what was going on.”
After Judge underwent an MRI and CT scan, the Yankees announced the injury, calling it a “chip fracture” and said that surgery had not been recommended.
The club estimates that it will be about three weeks before Judge can “swing a bat in a game situation.”
Judge is batting .285 and leads the team with 26 homers and 83 RBI.