Brian Cashman has incorporated a philosophy during his two decades as Yankees GM to under-promise and then over-perform. So, he is almost always tempered when it comes to whether he will make trades or predicting how good a prospect will be, and definitely when it comes to forecasting how long a player will miss due to injury.
So it stands out just how off the Yankees are going to be from their initial estimate that Aaron Judge would return three weeks after suffering a right wrist fracture July 26. Yet, as of Sunday — Day 24 on the DL — Judge was still experiencing pain and not yet ready to swing.
“[Yankees team doctor Chris] Ahmad was optimistic,” Cashman said by phone. “He recognizes these things take four to six weeks, but for some reason his experience with Judge, [Ahmad] went the most optimistic three weeks. That was a mistake, one he has self-admitted to. In fairness to Aaron, four to six weeks is typical. Usually, we don’t over-promise. In this case, we missed on the timeline. It is unfair to the player. The optimism and the timeline were inaccurate.”
Judge was unlikely to reach his 52 homers this year, but the consistency of his at-bats was better than in his 2017 AL MVP runner-up season. Will the Yankees get that if he, say, returns Sept. 1, at about the five-week mark?
“We have never been told that he is not coming back,” Cashman said. “But in fairness to the player, how is he going to be? Is he going to be operating at peak-performance levels? Will he not be feeling discomfort from time to time when he checks a swing from a very violent swing? All those things are realistic, too. We will get him back, that is the assessment. How he plays and [when] he knocks the rust out, in fairness to him, that is the difficult part. It takes time.”
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