Yankees’ Aaron Judge talks analytics, health, Boone, Cashman

KANSAS CITY – Shortly before the Yankees’ last game of the season on Sunday, Aaron Judge held court with reporters in front of his locker.

The Yankees’ captain, not going to the playoffs for the first time since getting a cup of major-league coffee in 2016, discussed what went wrong with the team this year and what needs to change, among other topics. Aaron Boone, meanwhile, said that he plans on meeting with Hal Steinbrenner and Brian Cashman in Tampa later this week to address such topics.

Judge also plans on meeting and talking with Steinbrenner and Cashman after the season.

Below are some of the biggest takeaways from what Judge had to say prior to the last game of a disappointing season.


Judge, having already declared that changes are needed, tried to avoid specifics when asked if he expects big ones.

“We’ll see what happens,” he said. “I can only change what I have control over, especially in this clubhouse. Outside of that, I think there’s some things that happened this year that opened people’s eyes. Hopefully, the right people saw it and we’ll get the right people in the room to discuss those things and figure it out. I’m excited. Hopefully, there’s some better things to come.

“There are some bigger picture ideas and philosophies that maybe need to change, but just speaking here in the clubhouse, speaking about the stuff I see going on throughout the year, I think it’s a couple little tweaks here and there that we’ll get buttoned up.”

Judge added that he would like to meet with Steinbrenner early in the offseason.

“There’s no sense in waiting,” he said. “Let’s get it done and get it moving to kind of put ourselves in the best position going into next season.”

Judge said that health is a “No. 1” priority, as injuries decimated the Yankees all year. That included two injuries to Judge: a hip strain and a torn toe ligament kept him out for two months.

Judge also talked a bit about the Yankees’ use of analytics. While he thinks the team provides “great” resources and information, he said “we need to take a look at” how data is being used and communicated.

“I think it’s now about funneling those down to the players in the right format,” Judge said. “I wouldn’t say overloaded. It’s looking at the right numbers. We get a lot of numbers, but I think we might be looking at the wrong ones and maybe should value some other ones that some people might see as having no value. But when you’re playing 162 games, you’ve got to grind, and you’ve got to play through things, I think there are certain things you can’t put a number on.”

The 31-year-old went on to say that he does a “pretty good job filtering what I need to filter” when it comes to analytics, but doing that could be tougher for younger players. “Maybe we need to have a better process for that,” Judge said. “So we’ll see.”

Some changes, especially in the analytics department, could be determined by the impending audit that an outside firm will perform on the Yankees this offseason at Steinbrenner’s behest. Judge, however, didn’t have much to say about that.

“I don’t know what kind of company it is or what they’re really going to give us,” he said. “But I guess it’s another set of eyes on it. It’s another opinion.”


With the Yankees not making the playoffs, there has been a lot of talk about whether Boone and Cashman should return. Judge has endorsed bringing the skipper back, and he did so again on Sunday.

“I think he’s got a good feel for the clubhouse,” Judge said of Boone. “He’s had 100-win seasons… I think he’s just a good communicator. He holds guys accountable. He sees things he doesn’t like, he’s going to pull you into the office and let you know. He’s just been a great manager year in and year out, and I’m looking forward to more years with him.”

Asked about the discourse surrounding Cashman’s future, Judge said, “I’ve got nothing on that. Brian, we’ve seen his track record of what he’s done, and he’s brought a lot of great ballplayers into this clubhouse. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next.”

Judge added that he and Cashman have talked “a little bit” this season, but the slugger has spoken with Steinbrenner more. He plans on talking to both this offseason.

“I’m looking forward to having some meetings with Hal and Cash both in the room and all of us voicing out opinions,” Judge said.

Judge was also asked if he trusts a front office that is partly responsible for the mess that was the Yankees’ season. To which he replied, “Got to trust them. Those are our guys who are up there making the big decisions. You’ve got to have faith. But as a player, I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do around the field. I’ve got to get these guys in this room prepared. I’ve got to get them ready on a daily basis. If we get the right guys, that will take care of the rest.”


Judge, who returned to action before his toe could fully heal, expects to have a mostly normal offseason. He also has no plans for surgery.

“We’re gonna knock a couple things out early… once the season’s over with,” Judge said. “And then I’m planning on having a regular offseason. The ligament’s healing up. I think the biggest thing is I haven’t stayed off it, so it’s not fully healed. Once I get off it for a week or two, then I think we’ll be good.”

Judge said he recently got his toe checked out, and he plans on having that done again in two or three weeks.


While reflecting on his first year as captain, Judge said “it definitely wasn’t a success.”

That was more a comment on the team’s season than his personal leadership skills, but Judge noted the challenges that came with an underachieving campaign, a midseason coaching change – the Yankees replaced hitting coach Dillon Lawson with Sean Casey – and lots of injuries. But he also said a more successful season would have come with obstacles, too.

Judge, who endorsed Casey’s return, said that he didn’t think chemistry was an issue for the Yankees, especially as the team turned to its youth.

“We have great chemistry, especially when these young guys came up,” Judge said. “They played together. We all kind of felt at home once they all got called up. We got a lot of great veteran groups in here, but like I said, a lot of guys were injured. I was injured for most of the year. I missed two months that I can’t get back. That builds team chemistry throughout the season. But we’ve got a great group of guys in here, especially right now.

“I’m excited to build off of what we got here, and if we can add a couple more pieces down the road, we’re going to be in a good spot.”

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