Aaron Judge

Akshita Patel

Why Is Yankees’ Aaron Judge Holding Back On Spring Training Games? Is There Any Strategy?

Three weeks into spring training, New York Yankees captain Aaron Judge has just played eight games.

Aaron Judge, the New York Yankees’ newly minted captain, is coming off an incredible 2022 season, wherein he hit his all-time career-high numbers in terms of batting. The outfielder even scripted history by hitting 62 home runs in a single MLB season. However, the dream of bringing the World Series title back home to New York remains to be fulfilled.


Hence, expectations especially surrounding Aaron Judge, are sky-high. Fans expect a change of fortune since he took up the leadership responsibility. They want Judge to emulate Derek Jeter, the 15th captain of the franchise, by winning the championship. However, nothing is going to come easy to the slugger, as handling a team like the Yankees is another battle altogether. Meanwhile, ahead of the 2023 opening day, Aaron has been surprisingly MIA in spring training games.

Aaron Boone Explains Why Aaron Judge Is Limiting His Spring Training Game Time

Aaron Boone
Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Spring training is a platform for baseball players to get in their groove before the commencement of the regular season. The players make the most of this time to get get rid of the off-season rustiness and get back to the usual flow. But nor Aaron Judge. The New York Yankees outfielder has played just eight games and made 20 plate appearances in this spring training so far, wherein he hit .457 with one homer. Naturally, the fans raised questions regarding the slugger’s health.

Meanwhile, Aaron Boone, the Yankees manager, addressed the issue and said that Aaron Judge is spending most of his time at live batting practice sessions wherein he is taking an ample amount of at-bats. Boone further added that Judge faces the Yankees pitcher when they are in for home games. Moreover, when the team is away, he uses the help of batting machines to practice. The skipper believes the machines help in getting more reps and once can make the desired adjustment to further practice different types of pitches. While the explanation does make sense, the in-game experience is a different ball game compared to live BPs. Hence, Judge needs to step on the field more often before the opening day.

Judge Using A Different Approach This Year To Emulate 2022 Season

Aaron Judge
Aaron Judge (Yankees) (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

As the expectations of emulating the 2022 season explode, Aaron Judge has come up with a plan to alter his approach. His strikeout numbers remained at an all-time high last season. Hence, to reduce that, Judge has brought about a change in his batting stance. He is apparently using a heel tap technique to gain more control of his swing.

Furthermore, Aaron Judge is also seeking the help of a former national league MVP, Paul Goldschmidt, to blend in the new technique. He even used the heel tap during a spring training game which resulted in his first home run of the season. Moreover, the slugger plans to incorporate this approach more often during the regular MLB season.