Yankees' Aaron Judge, 2 More Placed on COVID-19 Injured List

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJuly 16, 2021

New York Yankees designated hitter Aaron Judge bats with Toronto Blue Jays catcher Alejandro Kirk (30) behind the plate in a baseball game, Sunday, April 4, 2021, at Yankee Stadium in New York. Home plate umpire Mark Carlson is behind the catcher.(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Kathy Willens/Associated Press

New York Yankees star Aaron Judge will miss time after being placed on the COVID-19 injured list, the team announced Friday.

Backup catcher Kyle Higashioka and third baseman Gio Urshela also landed on the list, where teammates and pitchers Nelson Cortes and Wandy Peralta have already been since Thursday. Relief pitcher Jonathan Loaisiga has also been on the list since last Saturday.

Players who are found positive for COVID-19 must isolate for a minimum of 10 days, per MLB.com.

The Yankees' COVID-19 outbreak forced the postponement of their home game against the Boston Red Sox on Thursday. The two teams will return to the field Friday at Yankee Stadium.

As for Judge, aside from missing some time because of "general soreness in the side," as manager Aaron Boone described, Judge was able to stay on the field during the first half of the season.

Injuries remain a concern for Judge, who played just 28 of 60 possible games during the shortened 2020 campaign. He also missed 60 games in 2019 and 50 games in 2018 with various ailments.

It has slowed down a promising career that started with a Rookie of the Year award and two All-Star selections in his first two full seasons in the majors. He finished second in voting for the MVP award in 2017 after leading the league with 52 home runs.

Judge has played well when healthy in 2021 with 21 home runs, 47 RBI and a .282 batting average (.901 OPS).

The 29-year-old remains one of the sport's best power hitters and is capable of carrying the Yankees lineup for stretches at a time. The challenge for him has been staying on the field.

For now, the Yankees must traverse without him. The depleted Yankees' healthy outfield options include Brett Gardner, Tyler Wade and Tim Locastro. New York also just called up Trey Amburgey and Greg Allen to the 26-man MLB roster.