Could the Yankees bring back ex-slugging first baseman?

New York Yankees, Luke Voit

The New York Yankees find themselves in a precarious situation with their first base after their starting player, Anthony Rizzo, was put on the injured list due to a concussion he sustained earlier this season. Initially attributing his symptoms of fatigue and fogginess to the grueling regular-season schedule, the severity of his symptoms prompted the Yankees’ medical team to take note and mandate rest in hopes of their dissipation.

As Rizzo takes time off, DJ LeMahieu and Jake Bauers step up to the plate to hold down the fort. However, speculation arises whether the Yankees might look to an old friend to reinforce the first base for the rest of the season.

Can Luke Voit Help the Yankees?

Enter Luke Voit, the 32-year-old right-handed first baseman known for his slugging prowess. Since departing the Yankees in 2021, Voit has had a taste of various teams, including the San Diego Padres, Washington Nationals, and a 22-game stint with the Milwaukee Brewers this season.

Voit most recently found himself with the New York Mets’ Triple-A affiliate, scoring .264 with a .415 OBP, contributing 14 homers, and amassing 35 RBIs across 37 games. Voit’s impressive performance in the 2020 Covid-shortened season, where he led the league with 22 homers and a .277 average and .338 OBP, is still fresh in fans’ memory.

While the Yankees generally favor left-handed players at first base, Voit’s track record in the home run department and his appeal as a power hitter make him an intriguing prospect. His consistent wRC+ of no less than 102 since 2017 indicates his potential to add some much-needed offensive spark to the team, despite his below-average defensive record.

Throughout his career, Voit has clocked 2303.1 innings at first base, with -25 defensive runs saved and -23 outs above average. However, his performance last year suggested a return to form as an average first baseman after a period of fluctuating performance.

Navigating the Rizzo Situation

With Rizzo’s diagnosis, the Yankees now have a clearer understanding of his recent struggle on the field. Rizzo himself noticed the concerning signs after a five-strikeout game against the Baltimore Orioles last weekend.

As the Yankees wait for Rizzo’s health to improve, the team’s immediate focus is on staying within the playoff landscape. They’ve been on a winning streak, seizing two consecutive games and eyeing a third victory against the Houston Astros on Friday night. Whether the potential return of Luke Voit is part of their strategic maneuver remains to be seen.

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