After a long stretch of being on the shelf, Aaron Judge is ready to return to the New York Yankees starting lineup on Friday.
Aaron Judge has been officially activated from the injured list, and is set to make his return back into the lineup for the weekend series against the Houston Astros. Judge has been on the injured list due to a left oblique strain, and hasn’t played a game since April 20th.
He served a five-game rehab assignment with Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre, where he went 2-for-15 with one home run and two RBIs. He did walk three times during his rehab assignment, but also struck out seven times during that span.
With the addition of Judge to the lineup, the Yankees are gaining another prolific bat to the heart of the order. They recently traded for Edwin Encarnacion, who leads the American League in home runs, and activated Giancarlo Stanton from the injured list on Wednesday. Over the last week alone, the Yankees middle of the lineup has emerged as one of the scariest power hitting teams.
But what does adding Judge to the lineup do for the Yankees?
Getting the two-time All-Star back in the everyday lineup does a lot for the complexity of what the Yankees do offensively. The Yankees forte is hitting the long ball, and that’s clearly what Judge does best.
Last season, Judge hit 27 homers, but also missed extended time as he was battling an injury to his fractured right wrist. He missed 50 games because of the fracture, but when healthy he was very impactful. He averaged a home run just under every 16 at-bats.
He’s also only two seasons removed from his breakout campaign, when he blasted 52 long balls, and led all of baseball.
This current Yankees lineup looks to be the healthiest its been in quite some time now, as the injury bug has been brutal this season. After getting back to full strength, it shouldn’t surprise anyone if they ride a hot streak heading into the All-Star break.
The Yankees find themselves ranked sixth in home runs with 121 on the season, and will likely see an uptick from their current rank moving forward with the addition of getting Judge back.