Aaron Judge Placed on IL by Yankees with Calf Injury Listed as Strain

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorAugust 28, 2020

New York Yankees' Aaron Judge bats against the Tampa Bay Rays during a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 9, 2020, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)
Steve Nesius/Associated Press

The New York Yankees placed right fielder Aaron Judge on the 10-day injured list Friday, retroactive to Thursday, because of a right calf strain.

This marks a setback for the slugger, who had just been activated off the IL on Tuesday after missing nine games with a calf injury.

"It seems like a recurrence of what he had before," Yankees manager Aaron Boone told reporters Thursday. "It pretty much looks like the same spot and everything. It does seem minor in nature again but certainly something that could turn into an IL stint again."

Judge is hitting .292 with nine home runs and 20 RBI in 18 appearances for the 16-11 Yankees, who are second in the American League East.

He started the 2020 campaign on fire, hitting home runs in five straight games from July 29 through Aug. 2 and capping his effort with a two-homer, five-RBI night in a 9-7 win over the Boston Red Sox.

A Grade 1 right calf strain, the least severe category, forced him onto the 10-day injured list retroactive to Aug. 12.

The 28-year-old returned to the lineup Wednesday against the Atlanta Braves in the second game of a doubleheader but was forced to leave after his right calf tightened up.

The 6'7", 282-pounder has suffered numerous injuries that have forced him to miss time. An oblique strain kept him off the field for two months in 2019, and he also missed nearly two months in 2018 after suffering a fractured ulnar styloid bone in his hand when he was hit by a fastball from Kansas City Royals pitcher Jakob Junis.

Judge broke onto the MLB scene in 2016 by hitting a home run in his first at-bat. He only had a cup of coffee with the Yanks that year but announced his presence in 2017 with 52 home runs and 114 RBI en route to leading the team to an American League Championship Series appearance. Judge finished second in the AL MVP voting that year to Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve.

The ex-Fresno State star has carried his power into the playoffs, as he's hit eight homers and knocked in 17 runners in 27 career playoff games with a .910 OPS.

Without Judge, the Yanks should look toward Mike Tauchman and Clint Frazier to replace him in the lineup. The 29-year-old Tauchman is hitting .315 with seven RBI, and the 25-year-old Frazier is hitting .300 with two home runs and eight RBI in 33 plate appearances.