The Yankees should strongly consider a change in the first base position

Andres Chavez
New York Yankees, Mike Ford
Aug 12, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees first baseman Mike Ford (36) hits a solo home run against the Baltimore Orioles during the fourth inning of game two of a doubleheader at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees’ offense has struggled to begin the season. Name by name, it is one of the best lineups in Major League Baseball, but slow starts by Gleyber Torres, Aaron Hicks, and Giancarlo Stanton, plus the injury to Luke Voit have really affected the offensive output.

One of the most problematic situations is the one at first base. Luke Voit suffered a partially torn meniscus back in March, and was given a May timetable. As a result, Jay Bruce made the Yankees’ roster out of camp even though he hadn’t been having a great performance during Grapefruit League play.

Voit, the Yankees’ regular first baseman when healthy, was recently cleared to resume throwing and could soon take swings off a tee. He is badly missed, and he can’t return soon enough as Bruce has struggled mightily on both sides of the ball.

The Yankees have gotten very little production out of Bruce

Bruce is, before the weekend series against the Tampa Bay Rays, batting .118, a product of four hits in 34 at bats. Known for his power more than anything else, he only has one home run so far and is sporting the lowest ISO of his career.

Yankees’ manager Aaron Boone has already had to play DJ LeMahieu at first. But as the team looks for a more stable solution, they can rely on Mike Ford and Chris Gittens, both talented offensive players who could theoretically contribute more than Bruce at this point.

“The first three or four games, there were a lot of really good at-bats, important at-bats,” Boone said of Bruce. “I think it was just a few games where he wasn’t getting real good swings off, not making great contact. Hopefully a couple days down refresh him a little bit and get him going.”

With the Yankees expecting Voit back by May, there are still lots of games to be played until that point. Should they keep giving a competitive advantage by playing Bruce over Ford or Gittens?