The New York Yankees will be without outfielder Aaron Judge for the next three weeks or so, but skipper Aaron Boone believes his team can continue to pile up the wins even without last year's runner-up for the American League MVP Award.
"That'll be our expectation and whether we get reinforcements or whatever, who knows?" Boone said on Friday, via ESPN's Coley Harvey. "I don't think in that room we really concern ourselves with that because we feel like absolutely we have the men capable of getting things done."
The initial timetable for his return is three weeks, and the injury does not require surgery.
Losing a two-time All-Star is a blow for a team that is trying to catch the Boston Red Sox in the American League East. New York currently trails its archrival by 4.5 games, though it holds a 5.5-game lead in the wild-card race.
As good as Judge (.285/.398/.548, 26 home runs, 20 doubles and 61 RBI) may be, the Yankees haven't won 65 of their first 101 games strictly because of their star right fielder. They have the reigning National League MVP in Giancarlo Stanton as well as Didi Gregorius and Gleyber Torres, among others. And that's not even mentioning a shutdown bullpen that features Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances and Zach Britton.
That sort of depth has Boone confident that his team can keep up in the playoff race.
"We can absolutely go out there and take care of business while he's down and hopefully when he comes back it'll just be an added bonus," Boone said, via Harvey.
Without Judge, the Yankees can have Stanton play in the outfield and move someone else (like Neil Walker) into the designated hitter slot. Shane Robinson (a career .227 hitter) and Tyler Wade (.170) are also options for the outfield with highly touted prospect Clint Frazier and veteran Jacoby Ellsbury both currently on the disabled list.
Of course, Brian Cashman and Co. could also look to make a move before Tuesday's non-waiver deadline.