This season alone, he has appeared in 157 out of 161 contests.
After finally breaking Roger Maris‘ record of 61 home runs in a season (until Tuesday, the highest mark in American League history), Judge certainly earned a nice reward: a day of rest.
“Game 162: Aaron Judge is off,” USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweeted on Wednesday afternoon.
Game 162: Aaron Judge is off
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) October 5, 2022
Today is the last day of regular season games, and with the Yankees already locked in as the American League’s number two seed, they can afford to rest their star player.
Marwin Gonzalez is playing right field today.
As for Judge, he wraps up the regular season with a strong .311/.425/.686 line, 62 home runs, 133 runs, and 131 RBI.
He even added 16 stolen bases and finished with a league-leading 11.5 Wins Above Replacement, or WAR.
The Best Season Since Barry Bonds’ Prime
That’s the highest WAR output since prime Barry Bonds, even more than Mike Trout‘s best years.
Thanks in large part to Judge’s excellent play, the Yankees are 99-62.
If they win today without Judge, they will reach 100 victories.
While it would be nice to win 100 games, manager Aaron Boone said that Judge earned the right to have a day of rest.
At this point, the priority for the Yanks is to have their star well-rested and ready for Tuesday, when the Yankees will play the winner of the Cleveland Guardians – Tampa Bay Rays series in the Bronx.
If Judge performs as well as he played in the regular season, the Yankees will have a chance to win a playoff series against anybody.
He is a true difference-maker.