New York Yankees Recap: Runners in scoring position lose game one to the Royals

Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees

Tonight at the Stadium in the Bronx, the New York Yankees met up with the Kansas City Royals for game one of a three-game set at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees’ ace Gerrit Cole led off against the Kansas City Royals’ Brady Singer. Showers near the game had passed, and the game started on time but with a slightly wet outfield. The Yankees lost the game in the eighth inning 6-5.

Whit Merrifield led off against Cole in the first and ground out to third base. Carlos Santana walked. Salvatore Perez singled, getting Santana at second. Ryan O’hearn lined out to left field to end the half. At the bottom, DJ LeMahieu grounded out to second. Judge lined to second. On his first at-bat returning from the IL, Luke Voit hit the first pitch he saw for a solo homer (423′) to left field. Stanton walked. Gio Urshela slow singled to short. A passed ball lets the runners advance. Gleyber Torres walked the bases full. Clint Frazier ground out to strand 3 Yankees. No score. Singer was checked for ‘sticky’ stuff when he left the mound.

At the top of the second inning, Jorge Soler led off against Cole and grounded to third for the first out. Kevin Gutierrez ground out to second. Hunter Dozier struck out on a 97 mph fastball to end the half. Kyle Higashioka led off the bottom by homering to left field for the two-run lead for the Yankees. Brett Gardner lined out to left. LeMahieu singled to center. Aaron Judge singled with LeMahieu stopping at second base. Luke Voit, who hit a homer in the first, flew out to right. Stanton, with two on and two outs, struck out, leaving another two men on base. New York Yankees 2 Kansas City Royals 0.

Michael Taylor led off the third inning by singling to short center. Nicky Lopez singled, moving Taylor to third base. Merrifield hitting in his 378th straight game, with men on the corners and no outs, ground out, but Taylor scored on the play. Santana struck out. Perez, with a man still on second and two outs, popped out to Gardner in second. Gerrit Cole was checked for substances as he left the mound. At the bottom Urshela ground out to short. Torres went down swinging. Frazier struck out for a fast inning for Singer. Yankees 2 Royals 1.

The top of the fourth was led off by O’Hearn, who tied up the game with a homer to centerfield. Soler ground out to LeMahieu. Gutierrez struck out. Dozier flew out to Garnder. The bottom was led off by Higashioka, who homered in the second; he struck out looking for Singers’ third strikeout in a row. Gardner struck out for Singers’ fourth in a row. LeMahieu walked. Aaron Judge walked, bringing up Luke Voit walked and that was the end of the night for Singer. Stanton faced the new pitcher Kris Bubic with the bases loaded and two outs; he ground out to strand three Yankees on base. Yankees 2 Royals 2.

Taylor started the fifth by lining out to LeMahieu. Lopez flew out to Frazier in left. Merrifield hit directly back to Cole for the final out. Urshela led off the bottom by flying out to Soler in right. Torres swung and missed for a strikeout. Frazier also struck out for a 1-2-3 inning for Bubic. Yankees 2 Royals 2.

The top of the sixth was led off by Stanton, who ground out to Torres. Perez struck out swinging. O’Hearn flew out to Frazier in left. Cole was checked by umpires for the second time, leaving the mound. The bottom was led off by Higashioka, who flew out to left. Gardner, who is in a big-time slump, ground out to first. LeMahieu rolled out to second to end the scoreless inning. The game tied at 2.

Soler led off the seventh inning and walked. Jerrod Dyson pinch-running. Gutierrez went down looking. Dozier ground out to Voit, Dyson went to second. Taylor reached on a bad call. Lopez struck out on a 100 mph fastball. In the bottom, Judge flew out. Luke Voit appeared to hit a home run to left, and upon a review, it was called a triple due to fan interference. Wade pinch ran for Voit. Stanton at the plate, the ball gets away from the catcher on a wild pitch, and Wade scored for the Yankees lead. Stanton walked. Urshela walked on a hit by a pitch to his shin. Torres, in a slump of late, continued the slump with a strikeout. Frazier, also in a big-time slump, chopped out to short. New York Yankees 3 Royals 2.

On to the eighth Merrifield against the new Yankee pitcher, Jonathan Loaisiga singled. Santana doubled, moving Merrifield to third. Perez struck out. O’Hearn singled on a mishandled ball by Lemahie, and Merrifield scored to tie up the game. Dyson singled as Santana came home for the Royals lead. Gutierrez struck out. Dozier singled in front of Garnder, and O’Hearn scored. Taylor singled up the center as Dyson scored. Lopez, against the new pitcher Lucas Luetge, ground out to second. Kansas City Royals 6 New York Yankees 3.

Gary Sanchez led off pinch-hitting for Higashioka the bottom of the eighth by grounding out. Gardner walked. LeMahieu homered driving in Gardner for the one-run game. Scott Barlow faced Aaron Judge, who doubled off the left-field wall. Odor pinch-hitting for Wade popped out to Santana for the second out. Stanton ground out to third, but the Yankees made it a one-run game. Royals 6 Yankees 5.

At the top of the ninth Luetge, still on the mound, Merrifield lined to Urshela for out number one. Santana struck out for out number two. Perez popped out to Luetge for the final out. With last licks for the New York Yankees, Gio Urshela led off the bottom of the ninth against Greg Holland and chopped out to center for a single. Miguel Andujar pinch ran for Urshela. Gleyber Torres struck out for the fourth time on the night, but Andujar moved to score position. Frazier struck out. Gary Sanchez was intentionally walked. Brett Gardner popped out to lose the game.

The final score was the Kansas City Royals 6 and the New York Yankees 5. The winning pitcher was Jake Brentz, and the loser was Jonathan Loaisiga; Greg Holland got the save.

Morton Shuts Down Mets Offense, Stroman Injured in Braves 3-0 Victory

New York Yankees, New York Mets, Marcus Stroman

Heading into tonight, the New York Mets offense is on life support, and Atlanta Braves starter Charlie Morton was coming off his best start of the season. It was a combination set for disaster, and an untimely injury to Marcus Stroman led to a 3-0 victory in favor of the Braves.

Stroman got through one inning and threw three pitches in the second inning before leaving with left hip soreness. Judging by the motions on the mound, Stroman could not extend enough to finish his pitches properly. The injury was another one to a team that desperately needs everyone to remain healthy. Yennsy Diaz came in to relieve and worked into and out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam but striking out three in a row.

Diaz’s luck ran out in the following inning when the shift prevented the Mets from turning an inning-ending double play. Jeff McNeil and Francisco Lindor are known for their miscommunication up the middle, and it showed again. McNeil sprawled to get the ball instead of letting Lindor take it, which left second base vacated. It left Diaz to face Dansby Swanson, and he made the Mets pay by drilling a three-run home run. The homer turned out to be all the Braves needed as the Mets bullpen pitched six shutout innings to finish the victory.

Morton The Magician

Morton held a no-hitter for seven innings in his last start and was just as good tonight. Over seven innings, he held the Mets to just one hit while striking out 11. Even the one hit the Mets recorded was a lucky infield single from pinch-hitting pitcher Jerad Eickhoff. James McCann was responsible for the second hit with a ninth-inning double against Braves closer Will Smith.

Overall, the Mets offense looks ugly no matter how you look at the numbers. They have been scoreless in 17 consecutive innings and shut out for the fourth time in the last seven days. Even with the reinforcements coming off the IL, it will take more than one hitter to jumpstart the offense. They will have their chance to get going against Kyle Wright while the Mets have no clue who their starter will be for the final game of the series. The first pitch from Citi Field is another 7:10 p.m. ET start.

After workout with Knicks, Aaron Wiggins shines in G League Elite Camp

Maryland’s wingman Aaron Wiggins raised his Draft stock after an impressive stint in the NBA G League Elite Camp last weekend.

Wiggins was one of the unranked prospects who completed a workout with the New York Knicks ahead of the weekend’s camp.

Notably absent in most major outlet’s NBA Mock Draft, Wiggins certainly helped his case after averaging 13 points, 2.0 rebounds, and 1.5 assists on 59 percent shooting from the field, including 50 percent from 3-point range in just under 20 minutes in two scrimmage games.

Wiggins parlayed those impressive performances into an NBA Draft Combine invite to showcase his talent to a wider audience of NBA scouts and front-office executives.

The Knicks have four picks (19th, 21st, 32nd, and 58th) but it is unlikely that the team is eyeing him early in the Draft.

ESPN’s Draft analyst Jonathan Givony described Wiggins as a “Big wing-shooter who has good two-way versatility and nice upside to grow into.”

“[Wiggins] has the size, length, and frame and showed some things making shots in a variety of ways and doing other little things,” Givony added.

The Terrapins’ second-leading scorer was just one of the four prospects who advanced to the NBA Draft Combine. Joining him from the NBA G League Elite Camp are  Ohio State’s Duane Washington, South Carolina’s AJ Lawson, and Louisville’s Carlik Jones.

Wiggins was measured 6’4.5” without shoes and 6’5” with shoes, and 6’9.75” wingspan. He also recorded the fifth-highest vertical leap with a 36-inch leap.

During his junior season in Maryland, Wiggins averaged 14.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.1 steals in 31 games to earn All-Big Ten Honorable Mention honors. He shot 36 percent of his 3s on 5.2 attempts. Wiggins finished the season strong, posting averages of 17.9 points and 6.6 rebounds over his last 12 games including a career-high 27 points in a second-round loss to Alabama in the NCAA tournament.

The other prospects who worked out with the Knicks — Texas Tech’s Mac McClung and Georgia Tech’s Jose Alvarado — also had a solid showing though they fell short of getting invited to the NBA Draft Combine.

McClung led all players in the vertical jump with a 43.5-inch leap and a 3/4 court sprint in just 2.935 seconds, the fastest time since 2001. He scored 11 and 12 points in the two scrimmages while shooting 45 percent from the field and connected on 3-of-6 3s.

Alvarado averaged 8.0 points, 2.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 2.0 steals.

Sports Illustrated’s Draft analyst Jeremy Woo was impressed with Alvarado’s toughness.

“Jose Alvarado completely took over the fourth quarter of this first game at G League Camp. Biggest dog at this event. Great two days for him here,” he said.

Alvarado finished with 12 points and four assists in that game while shooting 50 percent from the field including 3-of-4 from deep. His team went 2-0.

Wiggins and Alvarado are still undecided and have until July 7 to make their decision whether to stay in the Draft or return to college. But Wiggins’ strong showing in the G League Elite Camp and if it continues in the Draft Combine might steer him to make the NBA jump now.

Aside from the Knicks, Wiggins also worked out with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, and the Boston Celtics. He is eyeing at least three to four more workouts before July 7.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

UFC TUF 29 Episode 4 Recap

UFC, Dana White

Tonight we saw the fourth episode of the UFC‘s Ultimate Fighter. The bantamweights were back in focus tonight with Team Volkanovski looking to snap their losing streak to start the season. So far, it’s been all Team Ortega.

Last week, prospective UFC light heavyweights Ryder Newman (Team Volkanovski) and Tresean Gore (Team Ortega) went head-to-head. The fight went the distance with Gore picking up the decision victory.

It was the third straight victory for Team Ortega to start the 29th season of The Ultimate Fighter. As mentioned, the bantamweights were back in the spotlight tonight as Dustin Lampros (Team Volkanovski) was set to take on Vincent Murdock (Team Ortega).

This is the second major crack at the UFC that Vincent Murdock has had. In November of 2020, Murdock got a shot on Dana White’s Contender Series. However, he failed to pick up the win as he was finished in the third round. One thing for sure is that Murdock was not afraid of this stage.

Dustin Lampros carried a perfect 5-0 record into the UFC‘s ultimate reality show. He looked like he could be the perfect fighter to get Team Volkanovski back on track, but it wasn’t going to be easy against a veteran like Murdock.

UFC TUF 29 Fight Recap

The two prospective UFC bantamweights got started right away in the first round. Lampros pressed forward immediately with a ton of pressure on Murdock. Murdock was looking to counter early, but both men were throwing heat.

Dustin Lampros seemed to land a couple of shots that rocked Murdock. However, Murdock was able to land a couple of big shots that gained the respect from Lampros. Lampros went right back to pressuring and both men landed big shots.

Murdock landed a huge right hand that dropped Lampros. Lampros tried to recover, but Murdock connected with a vicious knee that put Lampros down for good. Another win for Team Ortega who is now 4-0 in the UFC’s 29th season of The Ultimate Fighter.

New York Liberty: Three stars from Tuesday’s loss vs. Chicago

The New York Liberty’s return to Brooklyn didn’t go as planned, as they ended up on the wrong end of a blowout against the Chicago Sky.

Candace Parker fell just short of Barclays Center’s second WNBA triple-double, putting up 23 points and 12 rebounds to go with six assists. She was one of four Chicago Sky representatives who reached double-figures as they rolled to an 92-72 victory over the New York Liberty. The game was the first of a two-game set between New York (7-7) and Chicago, with the latter scheduled for Thursday night (7 p.m. ET, YES/Twitter). With the win, the Sky (8-7) have now won six in a row.

ESM has game balls for the New York silver linings…

3rd Star: Sabrina Ionescu 

6 points, 7 assists, 8 rebounds

Ionescu slowly started to resemble her dominant self on Tuesday night, looking as fast and athletic as she has been since missing two games with an “overuse” injury. Though New York was drastically outplayed by the resurgent Sky, they were undoubtedly a better team with her on the court. Time will tell if she’s able to resume her starting lineup duties, though Bec Allen has filled in quite efficiently in her place, so there’s no need to rush.

2nd Star: Jazmine Jones

11 points (5-8 FG), 5 rebounds, 2 blocks

Jones did what she did best in an effort to stem the bleeding: providing energy, even if it came in the form of expressing PG-13-displeasure at the officials (who awarded the Liberty only 11 free throws on Tuesday night). The All-Rookie nominee has reached double-figures in three of her last five games after doing so only once in the first nine contests. She also did a solid job of crashing the boards, hauling in five on the defensive end.

1st Star: Betnijah Laney

18 points (7-12 FG), 5 rebounds, 5 assists

Laney fell short of her traditional 20 but rediscovered her shooting touch after the recent four-game road trip brought her back down to earth a little bit. With the WNBA having announced a unique All-Star Game format in Las Vegas (pitting the United States’ womens’ Olympic basketball against a dozen WNBA All-Stars), Laney continues to make her case for a nomination, having missed on last year’s edition with the season confined to the Bradenton bubble.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags 

New York Giants: What will Sterling Shepard’s role in the offense be in 2021?

New York Giants, Sterling Shepard

The New York Giants‘ offense has undergone significant changes this offseason. The Giants acquired a bunch of talented playmakers to inject into what was a lifeless offense. In 2020, the Giants averaged a putrid 17.5 points per game, second-to-last in the NFL. The only offensive unit worse than the Giants was the Jets.

That should change this year, though, as the Giants made some offensive big splashes in free agency in the draft. New York landed free agency’s top wide receiver on the market this year in Kenny Golladay. They also added one of the most reliable tight ends in the NFL in Kyle Rudolph. They then doubled down by selecting explosive slot receiver Kadarius Toney in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

The Giants’ offensive weaponry has been overhauled with new, high-quality playmakers. But this influx of talent might give Daniel Jones too many mouths to feed, leaving the playmakers that were already on the roster hungry. Some players, like Evan Engram and Sterling Shepard, are expected to have their roles change significantly next season.

Giants fans are excited by the addition of Kadarius Toney. However, with Golladay entering the lineup as the team’s new X-receiver, and Toney on board as a new slot receiver, where does Sterling Shepard fall into place?

Where Sterling Shepard might fall into place

Sterling Shepard has been playing outside for two years now

Many fans typically think of Sterling Shepard as a slot receiver. However, since 2019, Shepard has played as an outside receiver. In 2019, Shep played 331 snaps out wide and 256 inside. The loss of Odell Beckham Jr. and the gain of Golden Tate forced Shepard to kick out wide that season after playing from the slot in 2016, 2017, and 2018. He started the season in the slot while Tate missed the first four games due to suspension, but once Golden Tate returned Shepard moved outside for the rest of the year.

Sterling continued playing predominantly outside in 2020. 356 of his offensive snaps came out wide with only 190 in the slot this past season. Shepard was typically playing the Z-receiver role in 2020 with Darius Slayton lining up as the team’s X-receiver. Slayton has a bit more size, physicality, and vertical prowess, making him a better fit on the line of scrimmage. Shepard’s excellent route running and experience in the slot made him a good fit for the outside Z-receiver position.

But frankly, Darius Slayton’s production at X-receiver was not good enough last year, which is why the Giants made it a point to go out and sign Kenny Golladay. Will this cause Slayton to move across the field to the Z-position If so, what happens to Sterling Shepard? Does he move back into the slot? Or is that position going to be earned by rookie Kadarius Toney?

Should Shep play inside or outside?

Sterling Shepard has been playing primarily outside for the past two years, but the seasons where Shepard played in the slot have been the best of his career. From 2016-2018 (slot), Shepard averaged 63.3 receptions, 762 yards, and 4.7 touchdowns per year. From 2019-2020 (outside), Sterling averaged 61.5 receptions, 616 yards, and 3 touchdowns per year.

Part of the reason why Shepard’s career-best seasons were in the slot is that he was playing alongside Odell Beckham. The Giants had a dominant WR1 in Beckham, something they’ve been missing since 2019. Now, with the arrival of Kenny Golladay, New York has its WR1 again. This should allow Sterling Shepard to thrive, returning to playing a complementary receiving role as he did with Odell.

Ultimately, Sterling Shepard should see snaps rotating inside and outside this season. He has the ability to play the Z-receiver or slot receiver roles with great efficiency. Darius Slayton should see a fair amount of snaps on the field, though his total is likely to decrease from last season. But the Giants also need to work Kadarius Toney into the lineup. This could open things up for the Giants to run a lot more four-receiver sets on offense. But it could also open things up for Sterling Shepard to play a more versatile role in the offense.

One of the reasons Sterling Shepard has had such a successful career is his versatility. He can play inside, outside, and do both at a high level. When the Giants want Darius Slayton on the field, Sterling Shepard should play in the slot. When the team wants Kadarius Toney on the field, Sterling Shepard should replace Slayton out wide. Sterling Shepard is the second-best receiver on the New York Giants’ roster right now, so the team needs to keep him on the field as much as possible.

Jets: Alijah Vera-Tucker has ‘Quenton Nelson’ like versatility

alijah vera-tucker, jets

One of the priorities for the New York Jets this off-season was bolstering their offensive line, as they went out and utilized draft capital and free-agent money to upgrade the unit. They brought in Dan Feeney, who’s started 57 games in four seasons of play, and has experience at LG and C, and drafted Alijah Vera-Tucker out of USC to fill an interior position.

Vera-Tucker has experience playing at OT and OG, providing the Jets with versatility they didn’t have before on the OL. Having failed to make a significant splash in free agency, they walked away with one of the best drafts in the NFL, as the USC product was considered a top 10 player in the entire class. Considering they traded up to pick 14 to ensure they snagged the versatile offensive lineman, it gives you an idea of how much they valued his services.

Verta-Tucker’s former head coach, Clay Helton, had great reviews of the offensive lineman, generously comparing him to All-Pro OG Quenton Nelson in some ways:

“He played three years for us at an elite level and really didn’t give up a sack his junior year (at LG) in that entire year,” Helton said. “He has tremendous athleticism in all your run schemes. He’s a guy who can get out in space, can run outside zone, power on inside zone and be able to really get out in space on the second level and be able to connect with defenders and be able to lock on them and show those great feet that he has. You’re really getting a talented a player that I think can really fit into what the Jets want to do.”

When you have a player being compared to Quenton Nelson, your eyes must widen. With a combination of athleticism and technique, Tucker is ready to make an impact on day one. In addition, he has the flexibility to help supplement injuries, which could end up being an undervalued factor. Considering Mekhi Becton has been dealing with planters fasciitis and other issues, there is the potential that Alijah could end up starting some games on the outside, which he has significant experience doing.

However, the Jets envision him filling the left guard spot next to Becton, solidifying a duo for years to come that can protect their rookie quarterback, Zach Wilson.

At this point in time, the Jets have made significant changes across the board, but their offense has experienced a shift that not many other teams have experienced around the league. They have the personnel to take a dramatic step forward and 2021 — it all depends on the scheme/coaching moving forward.

UFC books potential title eliminator between Askar Askarov and Alex Perez

The UFC has booked a potential title eliminator in the flyweight division. First reported by BJPenn.com, top flyweights Askar Askarov (14-0-1) and Alex Perez (24-6) will go head-to-head.

The fight is currently scheduled to be the co-headliner of the UFC‘s Fight Night on July 31st. A middleweight contest between Uriah Hall and Sean Strickland is currently scheduled as the main event for the July Fight Night.

For Alex Perez this will be his first fight since UFC 255. Back in November, Perez got a shot at Deiveson Figueiredo and the flyweight title. Perez got the shot after Cody Garbrandt was pulled from the card due to an injury.

Alex Perez was expected to really push the champion, but the fight didn’t last long. After a decent start, Perez was submitted in just under two minutes by Figueiredo. This fight with Askarov gives Perez a chance to stay right in the hunt for the flyweight title.

Since earning a UFC contract on Dana White’s Contender Series, Perez has been one of the best flyweights in the world. In eight fights inside the octagon, Perez has gone 6-2 with his only losses coming against Figueiredo and Joseph Benavidez.

UFC’s next Dagestani champion?

Standing across from Perez on July 31st will be the native of Dagestan, Askar Askarov. Askarov will be making his fifth appearance for the UFC. So far, Askarov has gone an impressive 3-0-1 in his four fights inside the octagon.

The lone draw came against the current flyweight champion Brandon Moreno. In his three wins, Askarov has shown just how good he is. Askarov has great grappling, but he also has tremendous standup.

Back at UFC 259, Askarov took on former multiple-time title challenger Joseph Benavidez. Askarov completely controlled Benavidez in a performance that could have earned him a title shot. However, Askarov didn’t make weight and the promotion likely wanted him to get one more fight in while making the weight before giving him a shot.

No doubt about it, Askarov will be taking on Brandon Moreno for the UFC flyweight title should he defeat Alex Perez next month.

After knockout win at UFC Vegas 29, what’s next for Matt Brown?

This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 29, we saw Matt Brown (23-18) take on Dhiego Lima (15-9). It was an important fight for both men as each were looking to get back on the winning track inside the octagon.

For Matt Brown, the fight was massive and was going to say a lot about the rest of his career. At 40 years old and having lost two fights in a row, many were wondering if we were nearing the end for ‘The Immortal’ Matt Brown.

However, Brown wanted to use UFC Vegas 29 as an opportunity to shut everyone up and prove he’s still got fight left in the tank. In the second round of his fight with Dhiego Lima, Brown knocked Lima out cold with a huge right hand.

With one punch, Matt Brown completely turned the clock backwards and made a massive statement. The win was Brown’s 12 win by knockout in the UFC which tied him with Vitor Belfort and Derrick Lewis for the most in the history of the promotion.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 29?

It’s clear that Matt Brown isn’t going anywhere yet after UFC Vegas 29. That performance has him ready to go and at the post-fight press conference, Brown indicated that he’d be interested in a few rematches for his next fight.

Brown said, “Cowboy [Cerrone], Demian [Maia] and Robbie [Lawler]. Those are the ones. I’m not the guy who’s, ‘I want a rematch I want a rematch,’ I had my 15 minutes and I didn’t get it done. I thought I won the Robbie fight personally, but I didn’t get it done.”

Brown also indicated that he’s particularly interested in potentially fighting Demian Maia (28-11) next. Maia lost to Belal Muhammad a couple of weeks ago in what was the final fight of his UFC contract. However, Maia indicated that he would like one more UFC fight for his retirement fight.

On the possibility of that fight Brown said, “I’d love for it to be Demian’s retirement match, I know he’s looking for a retirement match. I would love that, and out of respect for him because he’s a true legend. Just like when I fought him the first time, he’s the worst match up for me in the division and I like that challenge. I think I’m more up for it now than I was before.”

Yankees receive great Luke Voit rehab news, he’s in tonight’s lineup

New York Yankees, Luke Voit

The New York Yankees are clawing their way back into the AL East standings, having walked away with a series victory over the Oakland Athletics. Having won five of their last six games, they currently sit 4.5 games from first place, where the Boston Red Sox reside. They are 4.0 games behind the Tampa Bay Rays and are 4.0 games back in the Wild Card standings.

The offense has picked things up as of late, and the Yankees are expected to return one of their premier hitters, Luke Voit, on Tuesday against the Kansas City Royals. Tonight he is hitting in the 3 slot batting .182.

Featuring Voit will offer the Yankees a slugger in the middle of their batting order, and his presence should help tremendously. Voit was stellar during his rehab stint with the Double-A Somerset Patriots, and hopefully, he can carry over his success to the major league.

According to the Yankees’ PR department:

Prior to tonight’s game, the Yankees returned from rehab and reinstated INF Luke Voit (#59) from the 10-day injured list.

Voit had been fighting his way back after suffering an oblique strain on May 26. Last Friday, Luke recorded a home run, double, and three RBIs with the Patriots, showcasing his preparation for return.

Considering the 30-year-old slugger led the MLB with 22 homers last season, there’s no question he offers a high-octane player who can change the course of a game in a moment.

So far this season, he’s only enjoyed 50 plate appearances, recording one homer and three RBIs. A larger sample size should help him tremendously, and the Yankees will need him if they want to climb the standings. Luckily, Kansas City is a struggling team, who currently sit 32-38 on the season, having lost seven of their last nine games.

Additionally:

Additionally, RHP Darren O’Day and LHP Justin Wilson commence rehab assignments today with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.