Even in pursuit of history, Yankees manager doesn’t rule out resting Aaron Judge

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Yankees Aaron Judge
New York Yankees’ Aaron judge watches a single during the seventh inning of the team’s baseball game against the Boston Red Sox on Friday, Sept. 23, 2022, in New York.
AP Photo/Adam Hunger

Could Yankees manager Aaron Boone rest slugger Aaron Judge before he is able to reach or break the Roger Maris home run record? It’s not unthinkable.

Judge was in the lineup as the Yankees designated hitter for Sunday’s series finale with the Boston Red Sox and was still one home run shy of tying Maris’ home run record of 61. Down to the final 10 games of the season and the playoffs right around the corner, New York is sure to want to rest their superstar so that he’s ready to go for the postseason. 

However, that has become a tricky endeavor with everyone still waiting for Judge to make history. 

“I’m just kind of playing it day by day,” Boone said about the decision to rest Judge prior to the game. “We have a few days to decide on which makes the most sense and how to rest him where we can. I’m truly going day by day with that right now.” 

All eyes have been on Judge over the past week since the Yankees returned from a road trip to play five games in the Bronx. The New York outfielder hit his 60th home run on Tuesday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates, but has been held without another home run since then. 

Judge has been walked five times and been struck out six times in the 13 at-bats since his 9th inning solo shot Tuesday at Yankee Stadium. Boone said on Sunday that he and Judge talk when it comes to rest days, but that there is also a strategic element to all of it as well. 

Still, with history on the line, the prevailing thought was that Judge would be in the lineup until he accomplishes the feat. Boone indicated that wasn’t the case when asked directly if he wouldn’t rest him until he gets to the record. 

“You never know. You never know,” Boone responded. “You know if we get to a point where I feel like he needs a rest because something pops up or whatever, you know I’m not gonna go predicting what it is. We’ll just work closely with him and what’s the best path forward for him and for us. We have those conversations all the time.” 

The Yankees head to Toronto for three games and away from the spotlight of the New York sports scene which had been squarely focused in on Judge over the past week. Yankee Stadium had been sold out on Friday night and on Saturday as Judge looked to tie history. 

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Boone said that even with all the added pressures, he felt that Judge has been able to enjoy the circumstances.

“Triple Crown, 60 homers, first place team that’s pretty fun,” Boone said. “I think he loves playing the game. I think he loves how hard this game is. I think he loves all that goes into the season. We talk about the 162-game season and it being filled with ups and downs and adversity and things like that. I think the guys that truly love it embrace all of that even the difficult times, and he’s one of those guys.” 

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