Yankees Latest Updates On Josh Donaldson and Aaron Judge
Josh Donaldson and Aaron Judge will reportedly return to the Yankees' lineup after notable absences. Donaldson has been benched for the past three games, while Judge has been out of action since June 3.
With only two non-home runs this season and no single hits in his previous five games, third baseman Donaldson has showcased an underwhelming performance for a team that depends on lineup productivity.
Donaldson was also nowhere to be seen in Saturday's 1-0 win over the Texas Rangers.
"I think he should be an everyday player," manager Aaron Boone said about Donaldson. "This is a little reset that I decided, a moment in time, that I felt like a couple days were worth it."
Judge, on the other hand, has injured his right big toe after running into a wall. This incident occurred during the Yankees' 6-3 victory against the Dodgers when Judge prevented a scoring opportunity for the Los Angeles team by making a stellar catch as the ball approached the Dodger Stadium visitors' bullpen gate.
While reaching up for the catch, Judge collided with the gate, which caused him to crash through. His foot made contact with the concrete ledge at the base of the bullpen doors.
The 31-year-old has sat out the previous 18 games ever since. Without their captain, The Yankees have a disappointing 8-11 record, resulting in a significant deficit of 9.5 games behind the first-place Tampa Bay Rays.
Contrary to the team's official statement claiming his injury was a sprain, Judge revealed that he had torn a ligament in his toe and had difficulty simply walking.
Donaldson and Judge's potential returns
Boone has reportedly met with Donaldson to discuss his future. Boone pointed out that Donaldson is "going to play a lot," Further emphasizing that Donalson has the potential to be a key figure for the New York team.
"I know the batting average since he's come back has not been great," the 50-year-old manager said. "But scratch the surface, the underlying , he's hitting the ball hard."
Regarding his benching on Sunday, Donaldson has provided no comments. However, according to Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, the former MVP will be given regular opportunities at the plate in the upcoming games to ensure he maintains "consistent at-bats."
"Well, I'd like to get him some really consistent at-bats before we try to assess what's going on."
Brian Cashman, New York Yankees general manager
Throughout the third year of his $92 million four-year contract, Donaldson recorded a slash line of .222/.308/.374. Following his trade from the Minnesota Twins in 2022, he made contact on only 75.5 percent of pitches within the strike zone.
On Saturday, Boone also shared an optimistic outlook regarding Judge, expecting him to return to the Yankees this season, even though he couldn't guarantee anything.
MLB insider Jon Heyman from the New York Post provided an updated estimate for Judge's return to the lineup. Heyman mentioned that a source within the Yankees organization suggested that Judge might return around one to two weeks after the All-Star break. However, Heyman also acknowledged that this timeline could be considered speculation rather than a definitive estimation.
Since Judge's injury, the Yankees' offense has been noticeably struggling. Donaldson, Giancarlo Stanton, Anthony Rizzo, and DJ LeMahieu have performed poorly. Anthony Volpe often looks overwhelmed, and the initial excitement surrounding replacement outfielders like Willie Calhoun is slowly fading.
Last year, Judge accomplished the American League MVP title by ranking first in the league charts with 62 home runs, 131 RBI, and a .425 on-base percentage.