With Opening Day less than 2-weeks away, Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge remain the biggest question marks on the New York Yankees.
As we near Opening Day for the 2020 MLB season, two big question marks continue to hover over the New York Yankees: Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton. Combined, these two sluggers played just 120 games in 2019, that’s less than 133 qualified MLB players according to FanGraphs.
With the COVID-19 pandemic having shut down baseball for close to four months, Judge and Stanton have had plenty of time to heal their injuries, like Aaron Hicks and James Paxton did. However, throughout Summer Camp (aka Spring Training 2.0), all we’ve gotten are just more questions.
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This past weekend, for example, Judge missed multiple intrasquad games with neck stiffness. At this point, the Yankees are downplaying the injury. In fact, Aaron Boone told reporters, “It’s just something we don’t want to push at this point… he’s doing a lot better, but still stiff.”
With Aaron Judge, it seems that staying healthy is becoming his biggest struggle.
In 2019, it was an oblique injury that sidelined him for close to 2-months. Then, a diving catch during the postseason later revealed a rib injury. Now, a stiff neck?
When will it end?
Stanton also had a questionable moment this weekend when he failed to run the bases after a walk, according to Yankees beat reporter Bryan Hoch. Hoch later clarified that Stanton said he feels “100%” and he doesn’t want to experience any setbacks, thus not running the bases.
At some point, however, Giancarlo Stanton will have to run the bases. Wouldn’t it be worse if come Opening Day on July 23rd, on Stanton’s first trip around the bases, if he tweaks his calf injury? Shouldn’t he test it now and try to return at 100% at some point during the season?
With the signing of Gerrit Cole, the team’s front office is going all-in on the 2020 season. However, without their two best sluggers, the quest for 28 becomes much harder. Hopefully, these developments are no big deal, but history tells us they probably are.