Russell: Judge’s Injury Could Have Been A Lot Worse

Aaron Judge will be out for several weeks after sustaining a chip fracture of the right worst when he was hit by a Jakob Junis fastball in the first inning of Thursday’s win over the Royals.

“It could’ve been a lot worse,” Judge said after Friday’s game was rained out in the Bronx. He also admitted to having a little soreness. The Yankees slugger said that he was glad that it happened at this point of the season and not at the end of September.

Judge knew this hit by pitch was a little different than other times he’s been plunked. He remained in the game and reached on an infield single in the third. He took some more swings in the batting cage and told hitting coach Marcus Thames that he wasn’t 100 percent. He was removed before his next at-bat.

The Yankees, who solidified the starting rotation by trading for J.A. Happ, are in an odd place as the trade deadline nears on Tuesday. They are only 4.5 games behind the Red Sox in the AL East. And yet, despite having the third best record in all of baseball, they do not have a wild card spot guaranteed as a fallback.

New York is 65-36, and would host the Wild Card Game if the season ended today. The Mariners are in second place in the AL West at 61-41. And the A’s have been on fire over the last month and are now 61-43. A lot would have to go very wrong for the Yankees to not be playing in the postseason but it’s not a foregone conclusion, even though the odds are still largely in favor of them making the playoffs.

Now Judge and Gary Sanchez expected to miss almost all of August. “It’s tough but stuff like this happens,” Judge said.

The Yankees lineup is so deep that they don’t have to feel compelled to make a move.

Giancarlo Stanton will be under the microscope even more now without Judge and Sanchez in the lineup for an extended period.

The Yankees could bring in a low-risk bat.

Funny after all the Syndergaard and deGrom talk, Devin Mesoraco might make the most sense as a player who could fit in an intra-city trade. Cashman is on record saying he would have no problem trading with the Mets. Maybe Cashman could deal with Toronto again and put Curtis Granderson back in pinstripes.

On the pitching front, CC Sabathia was supposed to pitch on his bobblehead night but the game was rained out. Luis Severino will start Game 1 of Saturday’s day-night doubleheader, with Sabathia starting the nightcap. Happ will make his Yankee debut on Sunday afternoon.

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