Yankees' Aaron Judge Won't Play in Intrasquad Game Because of Neck Injury

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - SEPTEMBER 09: Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees looks on during the fourth inning of the game between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees at Fenway Park on September 09, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

New York Yankees star Aaron Judge suffered a stiff neck and was removed from the lineup in advance of the team's intrasquad game on Saturday evening, per Brendan Kuty of NJ.com.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone spoke to reporters about the decision on Saturday, per Erik Boland of Newsday, and then again on Sunday afternoon, per Bryan Hoch of MLB.com:

However, Boone noted, per Hoch, that he is hopeful Judge will be ready to play in Tuesday's intrasquad game. 

Judge endured a painful offseason.

Boone told reporters on March 6 the two-time All-Star was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his rib, an injury that likely dated back to last September. Judge divulged he had suffered a collapsed lung as well.

The 27-year-old almost certainly would've had no shot of suiting up on Opening Day before the coronavirus pandemic delayed the start of the 2020 season, which is now scheduled to begin on July 23 when the Yanks visit the Washington Nationals.

Judge's numbers dipped a bit after his MVP runner-up finish in 2017 as opposing pitchers learned how to better approach him at the plate. According to Brooks Baseball, 10.03 percent of the pitches he saw in 2017 were of the offspeed variety. That number was 14.21 percent in 2019.

Judge remains one of MLB's top sluggers, posting a .272/.381/.540 slash line with 27 home runs last season.

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Even without the veteran right fielder in the lineup, the Yankees aren't lacking for offensive firepower with Giancarlo Stanton, Gary Sanchez, Gleyber Torres and DJ LeMahieu all in the lineup.

But their players spent an MLB-high 2,960 days on the injured list last season, per Spotrac. New York will hope Judge's newest injury doesn't presage a continuation of the trend into 2020.

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