Aaron Judge is Headed to the IL with a Calf Strain

Aaron Judge is going to the Injured List with a mild calf strain. It’s retroactive to August 12, which means the big fella could come back as early as next Saturday (8/22). Remember, Judge left Tuesday’s game with what was then described as “lower body tightness.” He did not play on Wednesday. Turns out that he got an MRI yesterday, and that revealed the strain:

If that is true – and it’s a big if at this point – then it’s good news. A Grade 1 calf strain is ultimately not that big of a deal, and it sure seems like the Yankees just want to prevent it from getting worse by Judge playing through it. (It seems like he wants to.) Obviously, the Yankees are in good shape for the playoffs. Being healthy then is really the key priority. It’s good to be proactive and take even minor things seriously.

On the other hand, this is yet another injury for the Yankees’ best player, and I think it’s more than fine to be frustrated by this development. It is also another soft tissue injury for the Yankees. I would list them all out but: 1) it would be too annoying and 2) it would definitely take too long to do. The point is that this is happening with way too much frequency. (And that’s if it’s really a small injury. The track record here is not exactly sterling.) Anyway, it’s more of the same for the Yankees in 2020:

In terms of on-field impact, it’s a huge blow. Judge is absolutely raking. He’s hitting .290/.343/.758 (192 wRC+) in 17 games so far in 2020. He was looking every bit like the MVP-caliber player he is, and his loss is a big one for the Yankees. I mean, this was his last at-bat:

Thairo Estrada is being recalled from the Alternate Site and will replace Judge on the roster. Let’s hope this is a minor thing and Judge is back in action soon. Ugh.


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  1. Bleuboy23

    Remember when Stanton had a “mild calf strain”? Let’s hope Judge isn’t out for the season.

  2. Yanks317

    It sounds like they’re being cautious which is the correct play. But damn it’s fun watching Aaron judge play baseball and I feel like I see way too little off it for someone who watches damn near every Yankee game.

    Judge is 28 and the Yankees treat him like that. Very rarely does he get the DH spot, they run him out there almost everyday (well just as much as any other player at least). I’m starting to think we see more caution going forward. How about a catchers workload for the big man? Rest day games after night? The DH spot is a problem because of Stanton. But when they first made that trade I was a supporter of those 2 splitting RF and DH down the middle. Judge is a massive human being, but they don’t get him off his feet anymore than anyone else. Though his prior injuries don’t really translate to my point with their nature so maybe I’m just spitballing.

  3. Mungo

    Oh for goodness sake.

    One of the great, underrated aspects of the Yankees most recent dynasty, and frankly even the excellent teams in the aughts that fell short, is they had health. The Core Four and Bernie? They always took the field. Ditto for even guys like Swisher, Cano and host of other players they brought in. I always thought it was funny that some fans would say that Gardner was injury prone. He’s the opposite. He goes out and plays, banged and all, but he suits up and takes the field. Those players are extremely valuable.

    The Yankees can certainly absorb having one excellent but injury prone player. Two? The core of the line up? Can they go into each season not sure if Stanton or Judge will give them a 100 games? It’s concerning, because they won’t be able to move Stanton, so that means they may simply elect not to extend Judge and direct their resources elsewhere. A fan favorite. If not the face of MLB, he’s in the top two or three. He’s certainly the face of baseball in New York. Can the Yankees put the resources into both Judge and Stanton?

    I know. I’m frustrated. We’re all frustrated. Let’s hope it is very minor. All I know is Stanton’s soft muscle injury was also a Grade 1. They said he’ll be out 3-4 weeks. Why is Judge going to be back by next weekend?

  4. Alex

    These injuries are starting to become ridiculous with Aaron Judge. Every time people think “this is the season he can finally stay healthy,” he ends up proving everyone wrong. He’s a terrific player when on the field but the problem is of course that he’s never on the field.

    Judge is going to need to take a fairly significant discount on a shorter-term deal if he wants to stay here because you absolutely cannot give him a long-term deal.

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