The New York Yankees have had a season of injury, inconsistency and disappointment to say the least. After being on the short list of teams that could represent the American League in the World Series, the Yankees will potentially finish out the season at the bottom of the AL East. As of September 14th, they stand 17.5 games behind the Baltimore Orioles.
In short, there is little to no chance the Yankees will extend their season past 162 games.
Playoff odds right now (via FanGraphs):
100% ATL LAD
100% TB BAL
— Codify (@CodifyBaseball) September 14, 2023
With this scenario becoming reality with each passing day, the franchise now has to face the decision of whether or not to rest the veterans and start evaluating their young talent. This is common practice for organizations that are conceding late in the season, tanking for picks or evaluating potential trade chips.
All three are uncommon practices for a perennial World Series contender like the vaunted New York Yankees, who have won an MLB-high 27 rings.
The 2023 season has been a flub, but Yankees fans can’t say the team is tanking down the stretch. After winning four of their last five games and 12 of their last 17, the Yankees have finally pulled themselves back over the .500 mark.
Who was the main character powering the team to the win? MLBbro extraordinaire, Aaron Judge…
But at this point in the season, does it matter? Should Aaron Judge be contemplating options for the recuperation of his ailing toe? According to Yankees’ manager Aaron Boone, the 2022 AL MVP has already made the decision on what he wants to do.
Aaron Judge Wants To Finish The Season
“Judgey wants to play,” Boone told reporters before Wednesday’s rainout, per NJ.com’s Max Goodman. “Judgey wants to be a part of it, set a tone and example for the younger guys coming up too. So we’ll certainly be mindful of that and try not to put anyone in harm’s way certainly, but also treating these as very important games.”
Even with the toe injury that shut him down for much of the season still an issue, the Yankees need his offense in the lineup and to give fans a reason to show up to the ballpark.
There are no reports of shutting the reigning MLBbro MVP down for the rest of the season which increases the risk of further injury to the franchise’s biggest investment — a 31 year-old superstar who is in the first year of a nine-year, $360 million contract.
Is it really worth keeping Aaron Judge in the lineup?
MLBbro Judge deserves a ton of credit for his leadership and dedication to his teammates to make the final playoff push. However, it has not worked out the way anyone associated with the organization would have liked.
Since returning from the IL, Judge compiled a batting average around .211 and has suffered a recent 2-21 slump. Even though his current .254 average with 32 home runs and 62 RBI pales in comparison to last year’s numbers, it DOMINATES in comparison to his teammates who have struggled mightily at the plate for most of the season.
Can Yankees Make The Playoffs?
Even though the Yankees are mathematically alive for the playoffs, just look at the list of things they have to do (This is with outside help from other playoff contenders).
- With 15 games left in the season, the Yankees have to win at least 12 of them to get to the 0.3 percent the chart says above.
- With no winning streaks of the level needed to qualify, pundits see this scenario unlikely.
- The Yankees injury situation never righted itself particularly with Aaron Judge’s two stints on the IL.
With the Yanks being officially eliminated in a week or so, the silver lining in all of this is that Judge will get an extra month to heal the ligaments in his toe. According to doctors, the rest of the season should not be a major health concern for the most famous toe in New York.
Earlier in the season before Judge returned from the IL, specialists reported that the injury was more about pain tolerance than threats of further damage. As of now, look for Judge to play, but if things go south and Aaron Judge aggravates the injury further that could set him back next season, MLBbro.com already has a couple of MLBbros that can navigate this $360 million franchise player the right way…