Prediction on When Aaron Judge Will be Back at 100%February 14, 2018 | insideinjuries | No Comments
Aaron Judge said a lot during his media session Wednesday, and everything he said about his shoulder lines up with our analysis all along.
Here are some of the highlights:
- Judge started to experience pain around the All Star Break but wanted to put off surgery so he could be out there for his teammates and finish the season.
- He did not receive a cortisone injection.
- The recovery is going well so far, but his focus is on being ready for Opening Day, not rushing to play in too many games during Spring Training.
- He has been hitting in the batting cage and will continue to increase the intensity of his workouts.
Surgery on Judge’s shoulder was an arthroscopic procedure that involved removing a loose body and cartilage cleanup. Despite winning the 2017 AL Rookie of the Year award, his first half numbers looked much different than the second.
Judge was on a tear early in the year, hitting 30 home runs with a.328/.448/.691 slash line. He even had a league-leading 5.3 WAR. But once his shoulder started to act up, the slump started and only got worse.
It’s no surprise. Any shoulder injury for a power hitter is very difficult to overcome. Our algorithm dropped his HPF (Health Performance Factor) significantly, a sign that his play on the field was going to suffer due to injuries. While Judge said his shoulder wasn’t bothering him, it clearly was. He was seen with a large ice pack on his shoulder after most games. And his numbers tell the whole story. His “Batter Power” (one of the calculations from our algorithm to assess how a player’s health will impact performance) even dropped to Weak, which is never a good sign. Judge hit just .228 after the break, and his home runs, RBIs, runs and extra base hits all dropped as well.
Now Judge remains a High Injury Risk according to Inside Injuries’ algorithm, but he is slowly improving. His HPF remains Poor, but that should improve too over the next month as he moves past the Optimal Recovery Time for this surgery.
Judge may show flashes of power early in the year, but we may not see the same dominant player until May or June. Even once the shoulder fully heals, it takes a lot of time to fully regain strength around the joint. There’s a lot to be positive about here, but be patient. He still has a long way to go.
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