Yankees: Injury-prone slugger is ‘determined’ to prove his health

New York Yankees, Luke Voit
Aug 26, 2020; Cumberland, Georgia, USA; New York Yankees first baseman Luke Voit (59) reacts after hitting a home run against the Atlanta Braves during the sixth inning at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

New York Yankees’ first baseman Luke Voit is trying to prove the team he can be the starting first baseman, amid rumors linking the Bombers with Freddie Freeman and Matt Olson. He has been working out with former NFL wide receiver Llewelyn Murphy, who confirmed the hulking slugger will be ready by the time the season starts.

Murphy, talking with Brendan Kuty of NJ Advance Media, confirmed Voit’s knee, which was one of the main reasons he only played in 68 games last year, is “good”. He had a torn meniscus that forced him to the injured list to start the 2021 campaign, and then suffered inflammation on that knee and had to miss the Wild Card game.

Voit will soon turn 31, and still has three seasons of team control with the Yankees. Yet the team seems eager to find a replacement for him because they don’t trust his health. He led the league in homers during the shortened 2020 season, but has had severe injury issues in 2019 and 2021.

The Yankees would love to see a full season from Voit

That’s why the Yankees acquired Anthony Rizzo near the deadline last year. But Voit seems determined to prove his health.

“There have been no setbacks,” Murphy said. “He’s running and stopping and decelerating. He’s doing everything. I would say we’re doing it more at a level preparing him for the season instead of building it with caution because of the injury.”

Kuty details how the Yankees’ training staff has been working with Voit to strengthen Voit’s muscle foundation.

“We’ve been really focusing on sprint mechanics,” Murphy said. “We’re running every day. Obviously, Luke loves his weights. He loves to lift. I wouldn’t say it’s a noticeable difference, but we’ve just been talking about really his body composition and lean mass and focusing on, ‘Let’s just carry everything you need.’ I wouldn’t say it’s going to be drastic. With these guys at the highest level, you have to have hyper focus. We’ve laid down some pretty detailed goals. But it’s not necessarily something you would see with the naked eye.”

Perhaps 2022 is the year Voit is able to play at least 145 games with the Yankees. There is talent on his bat, evidenced by his .267/.357/.510 career line with a 133 wRC+. With him, it’s a matter of health.

Mentioned in this article:

More about: