Aaron Judge went on CC Sabathia’s podcast yesterday (note: CC Sabathia has a podcast?) and said, “yeah, I think I’m one and done at the Derby.” Meaning that he will not be doing the Home Run Derby in the future.
Kinda makes sense. Last year he won the thing in impressive fashion but right afterward he slumped terribly. Those two things may or may not be linked. Judge had banged his shoulder a good deal in the first half and that could’ve contributed to his problems, which led to eventual offseason shoulder surgery. It’s also the case, however, that his slump started basically immediately after the All-Star break and Derby.
For what it’s worth there is little evidence to support the widely-held notion that participating in the Derby itself messes with sluggers’ swings and the fact that Judge needed surgery points to an injury rather than the hard-to-grasp disruptions participating in the Derby is said to cause. That being said, swinging for the fences in the Derby is physically taxing and if I were in Judge’s shoes I’d probably do the same thing and take a well-earned break in July.
Besides, if it’s just about hitting big fat pitches over the fence, over and over again, it’s not like he doesn’t pay the Orioles 19 times a year.