Aug. 20: Judge said Sunday that the fracture in his hand has not yet fully healed (via Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News). “That’s what we’re just trying to get past,” said the slugger. “I think it usually takes four to six weeks for stuff like that to heal. So we’re waiting for those six weeks.”
Aug. 15, 9:11pm: Carig reports that in spite of the discouraging news on Judge, the Yankees aren’t any likelier to acquire an outfielder in a waiver deal (subscription required). Judge’s absence, he notes, is expected to linger into the month of September, but the Yankees remain confident that he’ll return before season’s end.
6:10pm: Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said in an appearance on WFAN today that Aaron Judge recently received a cortisone injection in his injured right wrist (Twitter links via The Athletic’s Marc Carig). Cashman, though, said that he doubts Judge will hit the ground running, and Carig notes that it sounds as if Judge will still be out awhile.
Yankees skipper Aaron Boone said at the time of the injury that it was “pretty realistic” to expect that Judge could return in three weeks’ time, but he sustained the fracture 20 days ago, so that estimate appears to have been considerably on the optimistic side. Newsday’s David Lennon tweets that Judge did run the bases and field balls in right field recently, but there’s still no timeframe for when he’ll even be cleared to swing a bat — let alone return to a game setting.
With Judge’s timeline murky and Giancarlo Stanton limited to DH duties by ongoing tightness in his left hamstring, it’s fair to wonder whether the team will pursue some additional help in the outfield before the Aug. 31 deadline for postseason eligibility. Carig noted that the Yankees “didn’t like the prices” when poking around the market for outfield help prior to the non-waiver deadline, though the circumstances surrounding Judge and Stanton could obviously create some additional urgency.
[Related: New York Yankees depth chart]
The Yankees are presently utilizing mainstays Brett Gardner in left field and Aaron Hicks in center field, but they’ve taken to deploying Neil Walker in right field. Clint Frazier remains sidelined by a concussion, while Jacoby Ellsbury’s season was brought to an end recently when he underwent hip surgery. New York currently has Shane Robinson holding down a bench spot, but certainly there looks to be room for improvement.
Notably, former Yankee Curtis Granderson recently cleared revocable trade waivers and is eligible to be moved to any team. Danny Valencia, though he hasn’t been a regular outfielder, does have nearly 750 innings of experience in right field and was released by Baltimore earlier today, making him another speculative option. Obviously, those are just two of the numerous options that Cashman and his staff can explore in the weeks leading up to that aforementioned Aug. 31 deadline.