Aaron Judge injury: Yankees breathe sigh of relief after slugger gets hit on hand

Aaron Judge injury Yankees
New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge reacts to getting hit by a pitch from Baltimore Orioles’ Albert Suárez during the third inning of a baseball game Tuesday, June 18, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Pamela Smith)

Just as Gerrit Cole got back to the Bronx, the New York Yankees had to hold their breath on Tuesday night after star slugger Aaron Judge was hit on the left hand by Baltimore Orioles pitcher Albert Suarez’s 94-mph fastball in the bottom of the third inning. 

While Judge left the game the following frame, he and the Yankees got the good news that an x-ray and CT scan came back negative, meaning there was no fracture or break.

“I’m feeling better, feeling better after good news,” Judge said after the game (h/t YES Network). “X-rays, CT scans came back negative so we’re in a good spot. Big relief. Being hit there before a couple years ago and breaking the wrist, you never know what’s going to happen. Finding out it’s not fractured, not broken, is definitely a sigh of relief.”

Judge was referring to the 2018 season when he broke his wrist during a July game against the Kansas City Royals that held him out for 45 games.

“Any time you get hit by 94, 95 up and in like that, especially on the hand where there are so many small bones and ligaments, you just never know what’s going to happen,” he added. “Getting that good news is a good thing.”

The 32-year-old admitted some swelling in the area. Still, he could grip a bat and immediately went to manager Aaron Boone imploring to be put in the lineup on Wednesday night against Baltimore. 

Avoiding an injury scare is obviously a monumental escape for the Yankees, who learned the hard way just how difficult things were without him last season when he missed 42 after suffering a toe injury in June. New York’s offense never recovered as they missed the playoffs.

The Yankees found the ultimate security blanket for such a scenario this season when they brought in Juan Soto, so while a Judge loss would have been monumental, it might not have been as insurmountable. 

Luckily for them, they will not have to worry about that and can keep the biggest bat in Major League Baseball in their lineup for a pivotal series against the division-rival Orioles, who are nipping at their heels in the AL East. 

In 73 games this season, Judge is batting .299 with a league-leading 26 home runs, 64 RBI, and 1.110 OPS.

For more on Aaron Judge and the Yankees, visit AMNY.com