New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone is taking a page out of the NBA’s handbook when it comes to resting his stars.
Based off the mass number of injuries the Yankees have endured since the start of the 2018 season, Boone is doing something that should’ve happened a long time ago.
Slugger Aaron Judge has already dealt with an injury scare (side soreness) in the first month of the season, and now, he has lower body soreness. That's what held Judge out of the lineup both on Wednesday night and Thursday afternoon.
Instead of pushing him in April, bringing along the risk of losing the All-Star outfielder to the injured list, Boone opted to rest Judge. Boone also plans on resting some of his other players as the season goes on and is making the right choice to make sure his guys get a day off when needed.
Judge’s soreness has not affected him at the plate, as he hit his fifth home run of the season in Tuesday’s victory over the Baltimore Orioles. He pinch-hit late in the game on Thursday, a sign that he's in a good place physically, but struck out on three pitches.
Overall, Judge has now missed 145 games in the past four seasons combined. This number alone is concerning enough for the Yankees to play it safe with him moving forward, given how vital his bat is to this lineup.
His fellow bash brother, Giancarlo Stanton, is another name that comes to mind when looking at some additional Yankees who have dealt with the injury bug. Since the start of the 2019 season, Stanton has missed a total of 184 games with a slew of different injuries.
If the Yankees want to keep their two behemoth-sized hitters healthy for an entire season, then Boone must be cautious with these two injury prone sluggers.
This means, being conscious of giving both Judge and Stanton regular rest, while making sure they do so on separate days. The hope is that this method would help these hitters avoid a stint on the injured list for the first time in several seasons.
First baseman Luke Voit is also on his way back after undergoing surgery to repair a partially torn meniscus in his left knee. While Voit’s bat will be a major boost to the Yankees’ lineup upon his return, he is going to have to be eased back into a full workload, spending more time at the alternate site.
The worst thing that could happen would be for Boone and the Yankees to push him too quickly and risk re-aggravating his knee, which would spell disaster in the long-run.
First baseman Mike Ford has been solid in Voit’s absence, and DJ LeMahieu can play first when needed, as well. This gives Boone more flexibility and depth, which will allow him to rest Judge, Stanton and Voit, when needed, in order to keep them healthy in the long-term this season.
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