Yankees delivered an exciting update yesterday when the team announced that Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton would be traveling to Triple-A Scranton / Wilkes-Barre to continue their rehab. Stanton has already appeared in High-A Tampa games, crushing a lot of dingers along the way. The judge will soon follow, and given the caution with which the Yanks have been reinstated, good news means very good news.
Let's start with the obvious. The reinstatement of Stanton and Judge in the composition of the production is evident. After posting a 149 wRC + last year, the judge again stood on the same foot before suffering an oblique injury, holding a 145 wRC + across 89 appearances at the plate. Stanton started the season with a bicep pressure, but he managed a 127 wRC + last year and felt more comfortable after living a full season in his new environment.
Given the current state of the Yankees' rotation (they have a tie-point average of 5.64 over the last 18 games), the return of Judge and Stanton should help a besieged throwing team with some support . This should also help the range of bats they will replace.
Brett Gardner clearly needs rest and a long break. After falling sharply in the second half of last season, injuries forced Aaron Boone's hand to play Gardner more often than it should have been, and it shows. After posting a score of 107 wRC + in May, Gardner's June mark dropped to 47. He played both games in a two-game game against the Mets earlier this week, which shows how much he had been seriously injured this season. Not only will the return of Judge and Stanton bring back some elite bats, but they will also eliminate a trailing sled in Gardner.
When the two major baseball players come back, it is likely that both players will gain a lot of time at the DH post as fewer and fewer players play each day. Well, considering that the DH spot was used by Kendrys Morales (now on the IL with a calf strain) and its 64 wRC +, it's a huge win for Boone and the Yankees. The team remained loyal to Morales for unexplainable reasons, but the return of Judge and Stanton will, hopefully, mean the departure of Morales. Farewell to a plethora of hard-hit ground balls.
Morales' injury also saw the return of Mike Tauchman, who was not really productive in his stint with the Yanks, while Judge, Stanton, Aaron Hicks and Clint Frazier were all on the set. The 91 wRC + of Tauchman during his first stint in the Bronx was not that great, but again, Stanton and Judge provides a massive upgrade.
There is also the extra bonus on the field. Clint Frazier was better on the plate since he relocated following an ankle injury, but his field performance was a completely different story. Most defensive statistics place Frazier at the bottom of the league, and the eye test matches those numbers. Meanwhile, Judge has released a DRS of 14 in 2018 and four in 2019. He is a defensive player above average with a very good arm. It should help prevent races in the outfield while creating a lot more at the plate.
Once again, the return of Judge and Stanton immediately makes the Yankees a better team. But if you consider who they will replace on their return, fans should be even happier with their arrival.