The Yankees saw another big blow in the injury department on Saturday, when slugger Aaron Judge went down with a left oblique strain. Judge was grimacing in pain, holding his left side after a swing during the win against the Royals.
It is unclear how long the Yankees will be losing Judge, as he went to the hospital today to receive an MRI to check on the severity of the injury. But there is no doubt the big man will see a stint on the Injured List, a place where multiple key cogs of the Bombers has landed so far this season.
Judge will join the likes of Aaron Hicks and Giancarlo Stanton as injured outfield pieces. Hicks and Stanton are progressing in their rehab nicely, but they are not expected to join the team any time soon. That leaves only Clint Frazier, Brett Gardner, and Mike Tauchman as the only healthy outfielders on the Yanks.
So what should the pinstripes do? Here are the Yankees' options to replace Judge in the short term...
1) Tyler Wade: Wade took over for Judge in right field once he came out of the game, and he could fill in more as well. The Yankees' super utility man can be plugged into the lineup anywhere by Aaron Boone, as he doesn't need to be stuck in right field permanently until a better option returns from the IL. Wade has been better compared to his career numbers at the plate thus far, hitting .238/.304/.238 over nine games.
1) Austin Jackson: Once the Yankees' top prospect, the 32-year-old is still out on the open market. Last season, he played for the Giants and the Mets, totaling a .245/.299/.326 line with three homers and 32 RBI over 116 games. Jackson is a natural center fielder, but could be play right field as well.
2) Denard Span: This MLB veteran has dabbled in right field during his 11-year career, but he was stationed in left field most of 2018. Between the Rays and Mariners, Span hit a consistent .261/.341/.419 with 11 homers and 58 RBI over 137 games. Span is 35 years old, so there will be a concern on the Yankees' end of signing a player that hasn't played yet this season with all their injury problems at the moment. But, if Span is deemed game ready, he could be the option they need to get over this hump.
3) Chris Young: How about bringing back a familiar face? Young struggled in 2018, which is why he is still a free agent. He hit .168 over 56 games with the Angels, and that just didn't cut it out in LA. However, he did well in his time with the Yanks back in 2015. He had a .252 average with 14 homers and 42 RBI. Most importantly, he has played all over the outfield in his career, and can be deployed wherever the Yankees need him.