July 27: The Yankees announced that Judge has been placed on the 10-day disabled list. Infielder Tyler Wade is up from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to take his spot on the roster for the time being. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal first reported (via Twitter) that Wade would be recalled.
July 26: The Yankees announced after tonight’s game that an MRI revealed a chip fracture in Aaron Judge’s right wrist — specifically, in the ulnar styloid bone. He’ll head to the disabled list and won’t be able to swing a bat for an estimated three weeks, though he won’t require surgery. Judge sustained the injury when he was hit on the wrist by an errant fastball from Royals righty Jakob Junis.
Obviously, the significance of any absence for Judge can’t be undersold when the Yankees are just four and a half games back from the Red Sox for the division lead in the American League East, though surely the Yankees are breathing at least a mild sigh of relief. Given the proximity of the fracture to Judge’s hamate bone, the 2017 AL MVP runner up could’ve faced a considerably more significant stay on the disabled list and surgical repair if the pitch had caused a hamate fracture.
That said, Judge is in the midst of yet another brilliant season, hitting .285/.398/.548 with 26 home runs. He’s leading the team in that category as well as on-base percentage, slugging percentage and RBIs, among other offensive categories. With Judge on the shelf, the Yankees will presumably deploy Giancarlo Stanton as the primary right fielder, with Brett Gardner in left and Aaron Hicks in center field.
Were Judge in line for a lengthier absence, it’d be conceivable that Yankees GM Brian Cashman would be motivated to add a bat to replace the lost production. But with Judge apparently likely to return by mid-August, it’s unlikely that the injury will prompt a significant move; even after Judge had sustained his injury, for instance, Fancred’s Jon Heyman tweeted that while the Yankees have considered Mike Moustakas previously, they still believe his asking price to be too high. Furthermore, Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets that he suspects the Yankees will stick with internal options rather than pursuing even stopgap options on the trade market (e.g. Cameron Maybin, Jose Bautista).