Luke Voit looked a bit off as he labored around the bases after hitting a home run yesterday, but the Yankees look forward to his return soon.
The Yankees lineup looks and feels entirely different when first baseman and last year’s AL Home Run Leader, Luke Voit, is in it.
As one of the go-getters and major players in the clubhouse on the Yankees, Voit has been upbeat about the team’s individually designed rehab program, but he’s also been biting at the bit, anxious to return to a team he knows needs him.
So when the ball came off Voit’s bat with that sweet and unmistaken sound during a game against the Syracuse Mets, there might have been an audible sigh of relief that drifted down to the Bronx.
Alas, as the majestic drive went over the right-centerfield wall, an unsettling picture emerged of Voit as he appeared to have difficulty assuming the usual easy trot around the bases.
At times, our lying eyes deceive us, but that’s what I see in the video. See for yourself…
Wave that ball GOODBYE!👋
Luke Voit sends a shot over the right field wall to give the RailRiders a 2-0 lead in the third inning. pic.twitter.com/ya8g3rKp3U
— SWB RailRiders (@swbrailriders) May 5, 2021
While it’s best described as “gimpy” and not an exaggerated limp, the Yankees will surely continue to monitor Voit today and on through the weekend, after which the hope is he will join the team sometime during their road trip next week.
Luke Voit Is A “Must Have” For The Yankees
“Luke’s in a good spot; I like where he’s at,” the Yankees manager said before Thursday’s series finale against the Astros at Yankee Stadium. “Again, I do think it’s important that with the layoff that he does get some consecutive at-bats and log some at-bats down there.
Really since the surgery, and even the days after surgery and seeing how he was moving and how he was feeling right away, I’m encouraged where he’s at and feel like he’s in line to join us next week.”
While the Yankees are not quite as desperate as they were two weeks ago when it looked like the wheels were coming off their offense, the return of Luke Voit coming when the team is surging means he can blend in without feeling like the load is on his shoulders.
Yankees Surge While Voit Waits
The Yankees have zoomed from the last place to second, only a game-and-a-half behind the coming back to earth Boston Red Sox (5-5), while the Yankees have gone 7-3 in their last ten games.
More significantly, the Yankees team run differential is now +21, whereas a week ago, it stood at zero.
Giancarlo Stanton is on fire, and over the last 14 days and eleven games, he is batting .500, with five home runs and ten RBI.
Likewise, Aaron Judge has contributed three homers and ten RBI over the last seven days, complementing Stanton back-to-back in the lineup, a combination that’s sorely been missed during recent years due to injuries to both players.
As a whole, though, the Yankees are still not hitting as a team, which makes the return of Luke Voit all the more important.
Brett Gardner (.185), Gleyber Torres (.240 and still without a home run), Aaron Hicks (.175), and Gary Sanchez (.177) are still not producing the way the Yankees need them to – if indeed this is a team that’s going all the way.
Now, with Roughed Odor going on the IL with a knee strain, Aaron Boone looks forward to the return of Voit even more, so LeMahieu can once again be his regular second baseman.
Yankees: Finally, Resolution Of The Catching Duties
The issue between Gary Sanchez and Kyle Higashioka is moving fast towards a settlement. Higashioka gets the bulk of Boone’s catching assignments without openly saying the regular job belongs to Higashioka.
Still, the numbers do tell Boone and all of us, as seen here in these lopsided stats:
- Yankees pitchers have a 1.78 ERA (108 IP, 21 ER) with Higashioka catching and a 3.92 ERA (151.2 IP, 66 ER) when Sanchez is receiving.
- Higashioka is hitting .243 with four homers, seven RBI with a 1.012 OPS, while Sanchez is at .180 with two homers, four RBI, and a .619 OPS.
- Higashioka has no errors, one passed ball, and has thrown out two of six base stealers than Sanchez’s three errors, one passed ball, and 1-for-8 caught stealings.
- The Yankees are 9-2 when Higashioka starts, 6-12 when Sanchez starts.
By this time next week, the Yankees will hopefully have a new look when Luke Voit rejoins the team in Tampa Bay or Baltimore, pretty much on schedule from a torn meniscus he suffered in March.
And who knows, by that time, the Yankees can well be sitting atop the American League East…
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