8:00pm: Judge has been diagnosed with a Grade 2 oblique strain and has been placed on the 15-day disabled list, the team told reporters (Twitter link via MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch).
9:17am: Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge is unlikely to return from an oblique injury suffered last night, Sweeny Murti of WFAN reports on Twitter. Fellow young outfielder Mason Williams will be called up to take his place.
[Related: Updated Yankees Roster]
Judge, 24, made his highly-anticipated major league debut this year after a strong run at Triple-A. Over 410 plate appearances at the highest level of the minors, the massive slugger posted a .270/.366/.489 batting line with 19 long balls.
The first taste of the majors hasn’t been quite as smooth for Judge, who has whiffed 42 times in 95 plate appearances. His .179/.263/.345 slash leaves quite a bit to desire, though he has launched four big league homers.
Really, the early struggles aren’t of particular concern; it’s worth noting, too, that Judge needed time to adapt at Triple-A. And the injury isn’t likely to be a major problem. But it will prevent him from getting some more plate appearances under his belt, and could conceivably interrupt offseason training or winter ball plans.
It’s not clear that the injury will really impact the offseason plans of the Yankees, who likely already viewed Judge as a work in progress heading into 2017. GM Brian Cashman has already suggested that the club won’t look to add outfielders over the winter.
That approach is based in some part on the availability of other potentially useful players such as Williams, a former top prospect who only just turned 25. His prospect star has faded in recent years, with injuries playing a limiting role, so the move won’t come with much fanfare. This will be Williams’s second run at the majors — he had a nice, but very brief, call-up last year — and it comes on the heels of a 31-game stint at Triple-A in which he slashed .296/.313/.376.