He is 28 years old, and suddenly troubling questions, chilling questions for the Yankees and Yankees fans, surround Aaron Judge:
Have we already seen the best of him?
Will he ever stay on the field long enough to again be the most feared face of the franchise? The imposing Sultan of Swat who bashed 52 home runs three long seasons ago?
Might the Yankees decide to hit the pause button on a mega-extension as Judge limps for now toward free agency in 2022?
Aaron Judge (mild right calf strain) placed on the IL, Yankees fans placed on the ILL.
This is the kind of precaution you are forced to take when your injury-plagued star has a history of day-to-day deteriorating into week-to-week and month-to-month.
For one night, the slumbering bats of Gary Sanchez (a 457-foot Judge-ian two-run HR) and Gleyber Torres (4-for-4, double, two RBIs) awakened with a vengeance in support of Gerrit Cole’s 20th consecutive victory, 10-3 over the Red Sox, and red-haired Clint Frazier (double, two RBIs) stayed red hot.
“It’s obviously a little bit of a blow, but we have a next-man-up mentality here,” Cole said.