The Yankees announced Wednesday that right fielder Aaron Judge has been reinstated from the 10-day injured list. His activation from the IL comes just one day after Giancarlo Stanton and Gio Urshela also returned from injury.
Calf injuries have limited the 28-year-old Judge to just 18 games in 2020, although he’s been as dangerous as ever when healthy enough to take the field. Through 71 plate appearances, the 2017 Rookie of the Year has slashed a Herculean .292/.343/.738 with nine homers and a pair of doubles. Unfortunately for Judge and for the Yankees, he’s now in his third straight season that has been considerably shortened by injuries. Judge went down with a calf injury in early August and returned about two weeks later. However, he aggravated that calf issue in his first game back and landed right back on the injured list.
Judge joins the Yankees amid a six-game winning streak that has all but eliminated any possibility of the team missing the playoffs. At 27-21, the Yankees are a virtual lock for a postseason berth — it’s now just a matter of which seed they’ll land in this year’s expanded format. They’re four games back from the Rays at the moment, which makes it unlikely that they’ll take the top seed in their division. But New York is also just a half game up over their current opponent, the Blue Jays. There are two remaining games in that series, which will prove pivotal as the two clubs jostle for the better postseason standing.
The Yankees will follow that series up with three games in Boston before traveling to Buffalo for four more games against the Blue Jays at their makeshift 2020 home site. They’ll close out the year hosting the Marlins for three games. The Blue Jays, meanwhile, play four against the Phillies this weekend, four against the Yankees next week and finish the season by hosting the Orioles for three.