New York Yankees skipper Joe Girardi addressed the possibility of moving right fielder Aaron Judge down in the batting order prior to Sunday night’s game against the Boston Red Sox, saying:
Judge is penciled in to Sunday night’s lineup still in his usual No. 3 spot in the batting order. Things won’t get easier for him as he matches up against Red Sox ace Chris Sale on a national stage.
On the season, Judge still leads the American League in runs scored (87), home runs (35) and walks (85), while batting .289 with a 1.026 OPS. But he has been mired in a major slump since the All-Star break, having batted just .161 with six extra-base hits in the 27 games since then.
After having clubbed at least seven home runs each of the first four months of the season, he has gone deep just once in the month of August, batting .147 since the calendar flipped.
His ice cold second half comes after he put on an enormous show at the 2017 Home Run Derby in Miami, a competition he won seemingly with ease. Despite the prodigious power he has displayed during the course of his rookie year, the Yankee slugger has struck out in every regular season game he has appeared since July 7.
The Yankees enter the night both 4.5 games back of the Red Sox for first place in the American League East, while also maintaining a 2.5 game lead on the first spot in the AL Wild Card chase. Still, they don’t remain safe as eight other clubs remain within 3.5 games of earning one of the final two spots.