Aaron Judge is headed to the injured list, interrupting another season in which he is showing MVP form for the New York Yankees.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone told reporters after Tuesday's game that the slugger will be placed on the 10-day injured list due to a bruise and sprain in a ligament in his right big toe. Judge reportedly received a platelet-rich plasma injection in the toe and avoided a fracture.
It will be Judge's second trip to the IL this season, as he missed 10 games in late April and early May due to a hip injury.
The toe injury occurred Saturday, when Judge made a highlight-reel grab against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He robbed J.D. Martinez of extra bases in a 6-3 win and ran into Dodger Stadium's right-field bullpen in the process, opening the gate with the force of his 282-pound frame.
Athletic trainers checked on Judge and allowed him to remain in the game, but he hasn't played since.
Judge's health had been a question since then, with Boone telling reporters earlier Tuesday that the player would see a team doctor. He also expressed hope that Judge's IL stint would be short, as his biggest problem now is swelling in the toe:
"The biggest thing now is trying to get the swelling out of there. Had some improvement there today, but now we'll just see where we are in the coming weeks — or days. ... It definitely could have been worse, but feel like he's going to be all right, just need some time now. Hopefully, it's on the shorter side of things."
The injury interrupts what has so far been another stellar campaign by Judge, who leads MLB in homers with 19. He is currently hitting .291/.404/.674 for a league-leading 1.078 OPS, numbers not far off from the 2022 campaign that won him the AL MVP award and broke the American League home run record.
Dodger Stadium to change bullpen gate after Judge's injury
In light of the Judge crash, Dodgers team president Stan Kasten told The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal that the team plans to reinforce the fence and add a strip of padding to the concrete step where Judge would've hit his toe:
“He didn’t go through the door, which is what I thought when I was watching the game,” Kasten said. “Then I got out there and realized the door doesn’t open in that direction.
“He actually broke through where some of the panels were joined, the barrier between the two connecting panels. Which is unbelievable. But we’re going to strengthen that and add a strip of padding on the bottom as well.”
Boone also suggested adding padding to the concrete:
“Look, I think all these places try to do their best to make things as safe as possible. But to me, it seems like the cement at the bottom could be padded up a bit,” he said.