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Yankees' Aaron Judge gets a night off as Aaron Boone says 'I feel like he really needs' the rest

Aaron Judge of the Yankees celebrates his second-inning

Aaron Judge of the Yankees celebrates his second-inning two-run home run against the Angels with his teammates at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday. Credit: Jim McIsaac

The maintenance portion of Aaron Judge’s season kicked in again Wednesday as the rightfielder, on the short list of Yankees consistently producing at the plate this season, was given the night off against the Angels and Shohei Ohtani.

The news created the usual social media firestorm that always occurs whenever Judge, who entered the night having played in 75 of the Yankees’ first 79 games, is given a day off.

"Overall, he’s just a little bit beat up," Aaron Boone said before Wednesday night’s game in which the Yankees put Clint Frazier in right, Miguel Andujar in left and Brett Gardner in center. "It’s nothing I’m concerned with or anything that’s going to keep him out of the lineup. But we’re trying to get out ahead of this preventing something from happening just because of the stretch we’re in."

Wednesday marked the ninth day of a stretch of 13 straight for the Yankees.

Judge came into Wednesday leading the Yankees in batting average (.285), homers (18), RBIs (42), OBP (.382), slugging (.522) and OPS (.904). His 75 games played through Tuesday was tied with DJ LeMahieu for team high.

Judge, of course, has an extensive injury history, which very much plays into the management of his playing time. After appearing in 155 games during his breakout 2017 rookie season, various injuries have limited the outfielder to 28 games in last year’s COVID-19-shortened 60-game season, 102 games in 2019 and 112 games in 2018.

Boone said Wednesday for Judge was a day off that "I feel like he really needs," similar rationale for sitting Gio Urshela the same night as well.

Judge came into the day in a 13-for-41 stretch (.317), his team-high 18th homer coming in Tuesday’s 11-5 victory over the Angels.

"I also have to, at times, keep the big picture in mind, especially with him and trying to make sure that we get him posting as much as possible, which obviously he’s done a ton this year," Boone said. "But today was the day I was pretty convicted he needed to be down."

New York Sports