Last season, when Aaron Judge would get behind in the count, a strikeout was just waiting to happen. The strikeouts occurred in a consistent rate, which resulted in the Yankees benching Judge for most of September.
With that in mind, Judge decided he was going to cut back on the strikeouts, which resulted in him making some adjustments.
The adjustments paid off in the Yankees 3-2 loss over the Toronto Blue Jays.
Judge got behind in the count twice, but instead of striking out the first time, he was able to fight off a pitch and line it for a single. He did strike out the second time, but he ended up finishing the day with two hits in three at-bats.
Joe Girardi noticed Judge made an adjustment, and was thoroughly impressed.
“I think he’s in his legs more this year than he was last year,”Girardi said. “He made a minor adjustment, and I think it’s paid off.”
Judge is the favorite to beat out Aaron Hicks as the Yankees everyday right fielder, and part of it may have to do with the fact Judge is more prone to hit home runs. But while they want Judge to continue hitting towering home runs, they also want him to cut back on the strikeouts.
So far he has done that.
Judge’s strikeout yesterday was just the second this Spring. If the adjustment holds up, Judge will end up having more quality at-bats, and some of those at-bats can help the Yankees in the long run.
“Like I always say, if he gets the barrel to the ball, good things are going to happen,” Girardi said.