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Aaron Judge Should Expect More Intentional Walks as He Pursues Home Run Record

Aaron Judge can be used to opponents pitching around him, however the Twins didnt even pretend to activate the Yankees slugger on multiple occasions Wednesday.

Minnesota intentionally walked Judge 3 x during the period of a double-header. NY won both games, and the outfielder hit his 55th home run of the growing season in the initial contest. The blast came before the Twins walked Judge a complete of five times between your two games.

While Judge did strikeout 3 x on Wednesday, it became clear that Twins manager Rocco Baldelli wanted nothing in connection with the MVP candidate in tight situations.

Judge has been intentionally walked 14 times this year; hes tied for the major league lead with Mets first baseman Pete Alonso. Judge also leads the American League with 85 bases on balls, and he could be fourth in the big leagues with a 14.5 BB%.

Despite high strikeout numbers, Judge is definitely proficient at drawing free passes. However, his previous career-high for intentional walks was 11, occur 2017 when he clubbed 52 homers as a rookie. He received just nine intentional walks from 2018-2021.

Now Judge is chasing Roger Maris single-season American League home run record of 61, as well as perhaps more. But a historic home run pace and a decimated Yankees lineup look like obvious known reasons for other teams to mimic the Twins strategy normally as you possibly can down the stretch.

Aaron Boone foresees that being the case, but Judge isnt spending a lot of time about them.

No, not necessarily, he said when asked if he expects the intentional walks to keep. I dont desire to consider it because I still gotta stay mentally ready. If Im getting intentionally walked, it results in theres guys on-base in a large situation, therefore i gotta stay locked in and really do not consider it and do my job. EASILY get walked, then pass the baton to the guy behind me, and I understand theyll take action.

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As the Yankees could actually beat Minnesota twice Wednesday, hawaii of New Yorks offense is in fact what gave the Twins added incentive to intentionally walk Judge.

Anthony Rizzo, DJ LeMahieu, Giancarlo Stanton, Andrew Benintendi and Matt Carpenter are banged up or on the injured list. All of those other Yankees current lineup has either been inconsistent, unproductive, or spent the majority of the season in the minor leagues. Consider that Oswaldo Cabrera, Oswald Peraza, Estevan Florial, Miguel Andjar and Ronald Guzmn all made a minumum of one start for the Yankees on Wednesday.

Spring training-esque lineups provide little protection for Judge and leave spectators wondering why anyone would pitch to him at all given what hes achieved this year. Yet Judge isn’t fretting about that either.

Im never too worried about if were missing guys or not, he said. Id want to have Rizzo. Id want to have DJ within, Big G. However the guys which are upgrading are doing their job.

Judges support for his teammates is usually to be expected, but so can be intentional walks if the Yankees keep trotting out groups just like the ones they did in the double-header. Teams dont need to get beat by Judge at this time, and much more walks could impact his home run chase.

But because the Twins demonstrated, Judge will still get pitches going to every once in awhile. Its around him to help make the a lot of them until reinforcements go back to the Yankees lineup.


Follow Gary Phillips on Twitter (@GaryHPhillips). Make sure to bookmark IN THE Pinstripes and check back daily for news, analysis and much more.

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