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  • Writer's picturePaul Semendinger

No Judge = No Good

by Paul Semendinger

June 8, 2023


Aaron Judge is back on the Injured List. He's out for at least 10 days. The hope is that he returns quickly.

The Yankees are a team built, almost exclusively, around Aaron Judge.

I compiled the following quick stats from baseball-reference. These statistics show a very important and unequivocal truth:

When Aaron Judge plays, and is hitting, the Yankees win at a high rate. When he's not hitting, the Yankees don't win, or, better said, they don't win often enough.

Take a look:

2023: Yankees Overall Record: 36-26

Aaron Judge has started in 30 of the games the Yankees have won.

In the 30 wins, Judge has hit .387/18/36. .496/.972/1.468

Aaron Judge has started in 19 games the Yankees have lost.

In the 19 losses, Judge has hit .145/1/4. .250/.217/.467

2022: Yankees Record: 99-63

Judge started in 96 games the Yankees won.

In the 96 wins, Judge hit .340/49/104 .441/.797/1.238

Judge played in 61 games the Yankees lost (57 times as a starter).

In the 61 losses, Judge hit .259/13/27 .397/.488/.885

2021: Yankees Record: 92-70

Judge played in 86 games the Yankees won (93.4%). (He played in 83 games as a starter).

In the 86 wins, Judge hit .332/30/77 .428/.665/1.093

Judge played in 62 games the Yankees lost (61 as a starter).

In the 62 losses, Judge hit .227/9/21 .292/.380/.672

2020 Yankees Record: 33-27

Judge started in 16 games the Yankees won.

In the 16 wins, Judge hit .333/8/18 .420/.767/1.187

Judge played in 12 games the Yankees lost (10 as a starter).

In the 12 losses, Judge hit .146/1/4 .205/.244/.448

2019 Yankees Record: 103-59

Judge played in 61 games the Yankees won (60 as a starter).

In the 61 wins, Judge hit .303/20/39 .412/.623/1.036

Judge played in 41 games the Yankees lost (39 as a starter).

In the 41 losses, Judge hit .225/7/16 .331/.408/.740


It is clear, abundantly clear, that when Aaron Judge plays, and hits, the Yankees do well. When he doesn't play, or when he doesn't hit, the Yankees don't do well at all.

This is a team primarily built around Aaron Judge.

The Yankees need him healthy and hitting in order to compete in 2023.

(Of note, while Aaron Judge had a history earlier in his career of being often injured, he seems to have put that behind him. He absolutely did the last two years. His current injury was a fluke due to the construction of Dodgers Stadium.)


Jun 08, 2023

This is a purely financial decision. The MLB insurance policies are a little tricky, but generally speaking a claim for 70% - 80% of a players prorated salary can be made by a team for an injured player's missed games. In some cases, pre-existing conditions come into play (i.e. Correa deals with Mets and Giants). It is possible and even probable that the Insurance company has stepped in (or it is spelled out in the Policy) and assessed their risk, and told the NYY that he will not be covered for this injury if they play him and it gets worse (or causes a secondary injury) and he then has to miss more time. He has 2/3 of 40MM lef…


Andy Singer
Andy Singer
Jun 08, 2023

You're 100% right, Paul, however this issue isn't really unique to the Yankees; any team that has a transcendent star are relatively dependent on that star to win ballgames.

As an example, Mookie Betts has a .733 OPS in Dodger losses this year, but a 1.003 OPS in Dodger wins.

Ronald Acuna: .767 OPS in losses, 1.073 OPS in wins this season.

Either way, your point is well taken: the Yankees will need to show some serious guts if they are to weather a significant period of time without Judge.

Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
Jun 08, 2023
Replying to

If he misses any significant time, the Yankees are in big trouble.


Jun 08, 2023

no one should underestimate the centrality of Judge in the Yankee offense.

what the Yankee hoped to do was to improve that offense with youth and speed in addition to power.

but more than that, they attempted to improve the defense, primarily by improving the starting pitching, adding Rodon and a returned Severino to stalwarts Cole and Cortes.

Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
Jun 08, 2023
Replying to

I was thinking you'd say, "They ARE in trouble, unless they get... Ohtani."

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