Aaron Judge
Aaron Judge runs the bases after hitting a solo home run on May 30, 2023 in Seattle. (AP Photo/Caean Couto)

Since bursting out of the scene in 2016, OF Aaron Judge has gradually become the backbone of the New York Yankees franchise. He has taken the responsibility of the team’s offense on his own shoulders. The whole sports fraternity witnessed Judge scripting history in 2022 when he surpassed Roger Maris to score 62 home runs. However, this year, the situation is far from different.

This season, Aaron Judge has already slammed 19 home runs in over 50 games despite missing 10 days to injury. He is following the same trajectory as 2022, which is a massive boost for the Yankees. However, injury has once again taken a toll on the captain. And apparently, the team always tends to sort of enter a panic zone when something happens to the captain, which raises questions such as are the Yankees overly dependent on Aaron Judge.


MLB Analysts Assure Fans That There Is More To Yankees Than Aaron Judge

Aaron Judge
Aaron Judge leaps and robs Teoscar Hernández’s home run. Twitter NYY

Just last week, a stat was displayed during a live game that stated that without Aaron Judge, the Yankees score at an average of 3 runs per game. Whereas, with the slugger’s services, the number shoots up to 5 runs per game. During Judge’s initial absence in May, the Bombers’ offense stumbled to an all-time low, and they kept on plunging into the East table. As a result, as the captain has entered IL for the second time this season, the fans could not help but panic. However, MLB analysts had some reassuring words to offer to the dejected fans.

Former All-Star and current YES Network statistician James Smyth said that fans should not worry about Aaron Judge’s absence. While he acknowledged the importance of his presence in the lineup, James reminded everyone that baseball is a team sport. He added one player cannot have too much of an impact on the team’s results on a constant basis. While James’ analysis is not factually incorrect, in the Yankees’ case, they do appear to be overly dependent on their captain. The offensive resurgence the team witnessed immediately after Judge’s return in May serves as a perfect example. It can also be more of a mindset issue. But the bottom line remains that the Yankees look most likely to suffer from its captain’s latest IL stint.

DJ LeMahieu Terms Judge “Irreplaceable”

Screenshot 2023 06 09 at 6.19.36 PM
May 10, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Harrison Bader (22) celebrates his three run home run against the Oakland Athletics with first baseman Anthony Rizzo (48) and third baseman DJ LeMahieu (26) during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Image: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Yankees captain, Aaron Judge, looks poised to miss weeks of game time due to a recent toe injury. His toe is swelled up, and the Yankees apparently have no set return timeline in place. Overall, the team’s offense is going to take a major blow in the coming games. Hence, under these dire circumstances, the onus shifts on the rest of the offense lineup to step in and fill his void.

However, it’s easier said than done, feels Yankee baseman DJ LeMahieu. He said to replace someone of Aaron Judge’s caliber is next to impossible. Regardless, the team collectively will make an effort to fill the existing void to the best of their ability. The Bombers do have the likes of Anthony Rizzo, DJ LeMahieu, Gleyber Torres, and Giancarlo Stanton at their helm. But it remains to be seen as to how they would succeed in making a difference.