The New York Yankees aren’t hiding their plans for spring training and the regular season, as first baseman, Luke Voit, will be the primary options moving forward. Voit, who suffered a sports hernia last summer, was unable to return to full form in the latter portion of the year and failed to feature during the postseason.
Despite his falloff post-injury, Yankees’ manager Aaron Boone remained steady regarding Voit, stating:
“I think Luke Voit comes in healthy, and I think even though he got back and I think was healthy to some degree, still probably wasn’t quite all the way Luke Voit the second half of the season. Luke has proven to be a really impactful hitter and confident that the surgery he had this winter was a successful one and that he will come in and really lay claim to that position,” Boone said at the Winter Meetings.
Voit’s slugger mentality and power make him a must-start for a home run centric Yankees team. Alternatively, they have Mike Ford, who posted adequate numbers in 2019 during his first campaign at the top level. He could be a reliable option moving forward to back up Voit, who has suffered through his fair share of injuries the last two seasons.
However, the Yankees have taken precautions to mitigate soft tissue injuries with the hiring of Eric Cressey and the turnover of the strength and conditioning department.
The New York Yankees have more than enough talent at first base:
Aside from Ford, who can fill in for Voit if need be, the better option is DJ LeMahieu, who posted incredible numbers at first last season in limited action.
“Obviously Mike Ford really had an impact for us last year as well, so he could be in that mix a little bit. And DJ, his ability to bounce around is huge. But I’m confident that Luke Voit is an impact player for us.”
Before the 2019 season, LeMahieu has featured at first base just once. He played in 40 games last year for the Yankees, posting a .992 fielding percentage with 24 completed double plays. Incorporating his incredible offensive production into his value, if the Yankees have a better option to plug into second base (Gleyber Torres, Thairo Estrada), they should prioritize that move over pulling Ford up.