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Why is Aaron Judge not in Yankees lineup Friday vs. Orioles?

The star slugger has an .855 OPS and one homer so far this season.

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees’ lineup for tonight’s game is out, and Aaron Judge is not a part of it.

This appears to be a simple rest day for the slugging outfielder. Giancarlo Stanton will man Judge’s normal spot in right field while Josh Donaldson is listed as the designated hitter. Aaron Hicks will be in center field.

Judge has recorded a .286/.355/.500 slash line through his first seven games this season. He has only one RBI so far, which came when he belted his first homer of the year on Wednesday versus the Blue Jays.

Injuries have been a fairly common occurrence for Judge, who didn’t play in more than 112 games in 2018 or 2019 and then missed more than half of the shortened 2020 campaign due to a calf strain.

Judge, a pending free agent, made a huge bet on himself on Opening Day this year when he turned down the Yankees’ contract extension offer of seven years and $213.5 million. The $30.5 million annual average value of that offer would have made him the second-highest paid outfielder in MLB, behind only Mike Trout. The 29-year-old obviously believes he can find more money on the open market, but staying healthy will be critical. To that end, expect Judge to get a handful more rest days throughout 2022.