Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder on Monday, per a team announcement on Tuesday. Judge’s recovery from the procedure, which involved a loose-body removal and a cartilage cleanup, is expected to be complete before the beginning of spring training.
While the Yankees didn’t divulge any specific info about when or how Judge suffered the injury to his non-throwing shoulder, the New York Post sports desk reported on Tuesday that “the injury is believed to stretch all the way back to an April game against Boston, in which Judge smashed into the outfield wall tracking down a flyball.”
That makes Judge’s ridiculous first half, during which he hit .329/.448/.691 with 30 homers, and his impressive victory in the Home Run Derby all the more impressive. It also provides some insight into why the 25-year-old outfielder slumped a bit after the All-Star break, hitting .228/.391/.548 with 22 home runs. His struggles to hit for contact were more pronounced than ever during the postseason, when he hit .188/.316/.500 with four homers, 27 strikeouts, and nine walks in 57 plate appearances.
Even considering his late-season struggles, the fact that Judge managed to win the AL Rookie of the Year Award and finish second in AL MVP voting with an injury worthy of surgery is quite impressive, and it should provide intrigue to Yankees fans hoping for a full season of elite production from Judge in 2018.