HomeTrending MLB NewsYankees' Juan Soto discusses struggles of Aaron Judge

Yankees’ Juan Soto discusses struggles of Aaron Judge

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All-Star outfielder Juan Soto is the latest member of the New York Yankees to insist that fellow slugger Aaron Judge will break out of his ongoing slump sooner rather than later. 

“It’s just part of the game,” Soto said about Judge’s struggles following Monday’s 2-0 home loss to the lowly Oakland Athletics, as shared by Randy Miller of NJ Advance Media for NJ.com. “We’ve all been through stuff like that and slumps like that. It just happens. We all know how great he is. Even when he’s struggling and I’m hitting well, they’re going to keep pitching to me because they don’t want to face him.” 

Soto’s first month as a Yankee couldn’t have gone much better, as he began Tuesday with a .322 batting average, a .991 OPS, five home runs and 20 RBI. To compare, Judge posted a .174 average with a .645 OPS, three homers and 11 RBI across his first 23 games of the campaign. According to ESPN stats, Judge ended Monday’s action with the ninth-most strikeouts (31) in all of MLB. 

Judge is already hearing boos from members of the Yankees faithful even though New York won 15 of its first 23 contests this spring. There remains no sign that Soto’s presence is negatively impacting the captain in any way, and Soto backed his teammate following Monday’s disappointing result. 

“At the end of the day, we all trust him,” Soto added about Judge. “He’s a great hitter. When you see him out there, he’s grinding every day. He’s trying to find his timing and his swing.” 

That’s all well and good, but one can’t help but wonder if Judge is slowed in any way by the sore core that caused him to sit out 10 Grapefruit League games in March. He hasn’t yet resembled the player who earned American League Most Valuable Player honors in the fall of 2022, but starting pitcher Carlos Rodon sounded unconcerned after Monday’s outing. 

“Aaron Judge is a really, really good baseball player,” Rodon said. “In any big situation, I want Judgey up, whether he’s 0-for-100 or 50-for-100. I’ll take Judgey at the plate anytime.” 

Miller pointed out that Judge went 3-for-28 with two RBI, 16 strikeouts and a walk over his last seven games. New York lost four of those contests.

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