Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge has had a dismal second half, coming into Monday’s action with a .692 OPS since the All-Star break. Judge has been bothered by a shoulder issue. MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports that Judge will get a couple games off to recuperate.
According to Hoch, the Yankees have asked Judge multiple times if the shoulder has been an issue, but Judge has always said “no.” Manager Joe Girardi says it reminds him of Derek Jeter, who was known for hiding and playing through injuries.
Judge, 25, set the baseball world on fire, entering the break with 30 home runs. He’s hit just seven in 41 games since. He hasn’t homered since August 16 and he has just two extra-base hits (both doubles) in that span of time.
The Yankees have managed to be successful despite Judge’s struggles, owning a 25-18 record since the break. Entering Monday’s game against the Indians, the Yankees are 2.5 games behind the first-place Red Sox in the AL East and hold a 3.5-game lead over the Twins for the first AL Wild Card slot.
Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Tony Clark met the press late this morning and covered a wide array of topics.
One of them: free agency, which he referred to as being “under attack” based on the slow market for free agents last offseason.
“What the players saw last offseason was that their free-agent rights were under attack on what has been the bedrock of our system,” Clark said. He added that they “have some very difficult decisions to make.” Presumably in the form of grievances and, down the road, a negotiating strategy that seeks to claw back some of the many concessions the union has given owners in the past few Collective Bargaining Agreements. CBAs, it’s worth noting, that Clark negotiated. We’ve covered that territory in detail in the past.
Of more immediate interest was Clark’s comment that the idea of a universal designated hitter is, among players, “gaining momentum.” Clark says “players are talking about it more than they have in the past.” We’ve talked a lot about that as well.
Given that hating or loving the DH is the closest thing baseball has to a religion, no one’s mind is going to be changed by any of this, but I think, practically speaking, it’s inevitable that the National League will have the DH and I think it happens relatively soon. Perhaps in the next five years. The opposition to it at this point is solely subjective and based on tradition. People like pitchers batting and they like double switches and they like the leagues being different because they, well, like it. If the system were being set up today, however, they’d never have it this way and I think even the DH-haters know that well. That doesn’t mean that you can’t dislike a universal DH, but it does mean that you can’t expect the people who run the game to cater to that preference when it makes little sense for them to do it for their own purposes.
Anyway: enjoy convincing each other in the comments about how the side of that argument you dislike is wrong.