The Yankees are placing defending AL MVP Aaron Judge on the 10-day injured list, manager Aaron Boone told the team’s beat after tonight’s loss to the White Sox (relayed by Erik Boland of Newsday and Brendan Kuty of the Athletic). Judge has a bruise and ligament sprain in his injured right big toe.
Judge suffered the injury on Saturday. Pursuing a J.D. Martinez fly ball to the warning track, he crashed into the right field wall. The 6’7″ outfielder knocked through the wall with his upper body but struck his foot against its concrete base. He finished out that game but hasn’t played since upon reporting toe discomfort. (Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic reported this evening the Dodgers are adding a layer of padding at the bottom of the wall in response to the injury.)
The Yankees can backdate Judge’s IL placement to Sunday, so he’ll only officially be out for another week. Whether he’ll be able to return when first eligible isn’t clear, though he appears to have avoided a fracture that’d have raised the specter of a particularly lengthy absence. Judge has already been on the IL once this season. He returned after a minimal stay last month with a right hip strain.
Frustrating as the health issues have been, Judge is again playing at an MVP level. While he was never expected to repeat last year’s record-setting 62 homer season, he’s barely taken a step back. Judge carries a .291/.404/.674 slash over 213 trips to the plate. Among hitters with 200+ plate appearances, he ranks sixth in on-base percentage, second in homers and first in slugging.
New York is already without Harrison Bader due to injury. The Yankees’ outfield looks particularly rough with Judge joining him on the shelf. Left field has been a revolving door all season. New York ran an outfield trio of Jake Bauers, Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Willie Calhoun this evening. Oswaldo Cabrera is on the MLB bench, while Franchy Cordero is on optional assignment and could be recalled to replace Judge on the roster.
Boone also told reporters that starter Nestor Cortes has been diagnosed with a strain in his throwing shoulder (via Jack Curry of the YES Network). Boone had already said Cortes was headed to the 15-day IL due to shoulder discomfort. That’ll be made official tomorrow with Randy Vásquez expected to be recalled to start in his place. The Yankees haven’t provided an indication of how long they expect Cortes to be sidelined.