New York Yankees slugger and reigning AL MVP Aaron Judge is again out of the lineup Tuesday after his crashing catch into the Dodger Stadium wall Saturday night. Judge injured his toe during the catch and is "doing better today," manager Aaron Boone said Tuesday (via Jack Curry). Judge will soon meet with the team doctor to determine whether he needs to go on the injured list.
For the Yankees, Judge missing any amount of time is concerning. Through 61 games this season Judge is hitting .291/.404/.674 (192 OPS+) with 19 homers, 40 RBI and 42 runs. Here's the grab from Saturday night:
The Yankees are also without center fielder Harrison Bader at the moment, so their starting outfield for the foreseeable future will feature Isiah Kiner-Falefa in center, Jake Bauers in right, and either Willie Calhoun or Oswaldo Cabrera in left. Giancarlo Stanton, who returned from a hamstring injury Friday, will exclusively DH for the time being.
In other injury news, the Yankees will place lefty Nestor Cortes on the injured list due with a shoulder issue, Boone announced Tuesday. Cortes hasn't been able to fully recover between starts, Boone said, and he'll have an MRI either Monday or Tuesday (via Bryan Hoch). The Yankees are hoping he'll only miss a start or two.
Cortes, 28, was an All-Star and finished ninth in AL Cy Young voting last season. This year, through 11 starts, he's 5-2 with a 5.16 ERA, 1.30 WHIP and 59 strikeouts against 19 walks in 59 1/3 innings, and he's struggled particularly when going through the lineup a third time. At this point last season, he had a 1.50 ERA, so it's been quite the contrast.
Still, starters Carlos Rodón and Frankie Montas remain on the injured list and the team is better with Cortes than without him, so this is a blow. Gerrit Cole, Luis Severino, Domingo Germán and Clarke Schmidt are the four starters for the time being and Randy Vásquez will step in to start for Cortes on Wednesday, according to Boone.
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The hope from the Bronx would be that whatever is going on with Cortes' shoulder gets fixed with a start or two off and then he starts to resemble the pitcher he was last season. After Vásquez starts Wednesday, the Yankees will not need their fifth starter again until June 24 thanks to scheduled off-days.
The Yankees were uninspiring through April, but just completed a 19-10 May and enter Tuesday's action 11 games over .500 while occupying a playoff spot in the standings.