How does Luke Voit factor into the Yankees' postseason?
October baseball is finally upon us. On the heels of a 103-win season and an A.L. East division title, the Yankees will host the Minnesota Twins tonight as they embark on the chase for their 28th World Series Championship.
In revealing their Division Series roster earlier this afternoon, the Yanks answered one of the bigger questions fans were left with at the end of the season, opting to carry slumping first baseman Luke Voit while omitting the white-hot Mike Ford.
|Photo Credit: NY Daily News|
Envisioning an infield rotation that didn’t include Voit would have been ludicrous just a few weeks ago, and to consider leaving him off the roster altogether unfathomable. At the end of August, he carried a .280 batting average with 19 home runs to his name. However, the 26-year-old slugger very nearly wrote himself out of the Bombers’ October plans in the season’s final month. Voit ended the season on a 1-for-32 skid with an alarming 41% strikeout rate over that span. That being said, some would have rather seen the Yanks carry Mike Ford. The rookie became a fan-favorite in the Bronx with his clutch hits and bubbly personality, hitting .353 in September to offset Voit's dismal stretch. You could have made a valid case for Ford's inclusion; his lefty bat would have been a nice compliment to a righty-heavy New York lineup.
As much as he won’t admit it, it could be safe to say Voit hasn’t fully recovered from the sports hernia he suffered on July 30. His September output was seemingly too much of a far-cry from his All-Star caliber numbers to classify as just a slump. Regardless, October is not the time nor the place to work out these kinks.
On the bright side, the Yankees' infield depth is among the best in baseball, so they don't lose much (if any) production by keeping Voit on the bench. It provides Aaron Boone with added flexibility if a starter needs to be pinch-ran for, and he could take some DH at-bats if the newly-reinstated Encarnacion needs a rest day. Besides, a 21-homer threat coming in to pinch-hit in a crucial moment will always be a daunting sight for a reliever.
Article by Christian DeMoro