NEW YORK -- He is a giant who would fit in among New York's skyscrapers. Aaron Judge is 6-foot-7 and about 300 pounds. Not since Hall of Famer Dave Winfield has there ever been a Yankee who looks anything like Judge. Judge is a power forward/tight end playing right field.
His maturity makes him seem experienced well beyond his 24 years. And, most importantly for the Yankees, he is hitting the cover off the baseball at Triple-A right now.
They were limp again Tuesday night in another loss to the Texas Rangers, this time a 7-1 defeat. If the Yankees think Judge can handle it, it might be time to bring him up, let Beltran primarily serve as designated hitter and see where it takes them heading into the trade deadline.
Judge entered Tuesday having hit seven homers in his past nine games. From afar, it looks as if he is mastering Triple-A, which is always general manager Brian Cashman's desire, as he often says that guys make themselves big league options. Judge is seemingly doing that.
When Cashman was asked Monday about calling up Judge in light of Alex Rodriguez's demotion to part-time DH, the Yankees' GM only sounded lukewarm. But Judge might be Cashman's best option, with Beltran probably needing at least a day or two on the sidelines. Beltran's injury is a warning sign about how careful the Yankees must be with their best player and one of their greatest trade assets.
Whatever they decide, the Yankees won't make their decisions on what will earn more clicks, back pages and possibly plant some extra fannies in the seats. It has to make baseball sense.
It is hard to make a full endorsement on bringing up Judge just yet. Overall, Judge has hit .266 with 16 homers and 46 RBIs in his first 73 games. His OPS is .845. He still averages basically a strikeout per game, as he was K'd 77 times in 282 at-bats. Those aren't dominant statistics.
The Yankees' offense needs a full reboot. While Mark Teixeira has looked a bit better in the few days since returning to the lineup, this team would be lost without Beltran.
He leads the club in batting average, home runs, RBIs and OPS. If he is healthy, he should be an All-Star. He probably should be in the MVP discussion. At 39 years old and a free agent at the end of the year, he is invaluable for this club.
The Yankees are now 37-39, a below-.500 team as the season's midpoint approaches. It is not a small sample size.
Cashman has repeatedly said the team must declare themselves as buyers or sellers, which they might do before the All-Star break. They have two more at home against the Rangers before a 10-game road trip to end the first half.
The Yankees need something to push this club into contention.
"I think if you felt you can get a jolt from anyone, you would ask for it," manager Joe Girardi said. "Cash would do something about it. I know [Judge] is swinging the bat well. I know who is swinging the bat well all the time, but that is not my call. We need something. We need to start playing better."
Girardi said he would look at his lineup options Wednesday morning. Judge is not one yet, but he soon could be. As the manager rightly said, the Yankees need something.