Aaron Judge Toe Needs Lifelong Care

Yankees' playoff hopes dashed during Judge's injury hiatus.

by Nouman Rasool
Aaron Judge Toe Needs Lifelong Care
© Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

For the New York Yankees, Aaron Judge's toe issue is more than just a minor concern. The powerhouse outfielder was sidelined for 42 games following a significant ligament tear in his right big toe, an injury sustained during a collision with the right-field wall at Dodger Stadium on June 3.

This incident played a pivotal role in the Yankees' slide out of playoff contention. Speaking on the matter, Judge expressed, "I foresee this requiring ongoing attention for the remainder of my career. With injuries of this nature, it's crucial to stay vigilant to prevent any recurrence." The towering 6-foot-7, 282-pound athlete made a comeback on July 28, finishing the season with a .262 batting average, 37 home runs, and 75 RBIs across 106 games.

During a press briefing, Judge shared a light-hearted moment, suggesting his transition to center field might be due to his mishaps in right field. He emphasized the importance of playing intelligently, acknowledging his misjudgment during the incident.

"I need to be more aware of my surroundings on the field. It's about making smarter plays and avoiding similar mistakes," he remarked.

Judge's Historic 62 HRs

Judge's record-breaking 62 home runs in 2022 surpassed Roger Maris' long-standing American League record of 61 set in 1961.

The Yankees felt the impact of his absence, hitting a major league-low .202 during that period, and ultimately missed the playoffs for the first time since 2016. Reflecting on the team's performance, Judge noted, "It was a wake-up call for all of us.

We've collectively resolved to ensure such a setback doesn't happen again." In his debut season as Yankees captain, Judge led the team to an 82-80 record, marking their poorest performance since 1992 and extending their World Series title drought to 14 years, their longest since 1978 to 1996.

As Judge approaches his 32nd birthday, his career achievements include Rookie of the Year and MVP, yet Yankees manager Aaron Boone believes a championship title is what's needed to complete his illustrious resume. Judge's leadership and on-field prowess were on full display as he took batting practice with new teammate Juan Soto, the star outfielder acquired from San Diego.

Soto's power and potential synergy with Judge in the batting lineup are highly anticipated by Boone, who envisions both players boasting .400-plus on-base percentages. As the first Yankees captain since Derek Jeter, Judge has embraced a more assertive leadership role, a development Boone acknowledges as essential for the team's success.

Judge, a five-time All-Star, boasts impressive career stats with a .282 average, 257 homers, 572 RBIs, and a .982 OPS. Boone regards him as not only a key figure for the Yankees but also a prominent ambassador for baseball.

Ultimately, Judge believes his career will be defined by championship victories, stating, "My most successful season will be when we're celebrating with the trophy in hand."