Yankees confusingly look towards Shane Robinson and Luke Voit
The Yankees are in the middle of a playoff chase; second place in the AL East, nine and a half games behind Boston and first in the Wild Card by four and a half games. So how are the Yanks looking to attack the remaining season?
By steadily deploying budding Yankees stars Shane Robinson and Luke Voit, naturally (sarcasm).
The pair of former St. Louis Cardinals, Robinson and Voit, are receiving more playing time with the Yanks this season than either of the two could have ever expected. This is due to the rising number of injuries across the Yankees 25-man roster.
With Jacoby Ellsbury out for the season, Aaron Judge to remain on the DL for longer than expected and Clint Frazier still experiencing concussion symptoms, the Yankees once packed outfield is looking a bit scarce these days.
This has led to the overuse of Shane Robinson. Yes, I said overuse.
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Robinson, a former fifth-round pick, hasn’t hit over .200 in three major league seasons, has seven home runs in his career and an OBP of .292. This is not a guy who should be starting for the Yankees.
Nevertheless, Robinson has played nine games this month — 13 this year while hitting just .138 with three singles and one home run.
The only reason manager Aaron Boone could start Robinson is when Giancarlo Stanton is either benched or in the DH role. Otherwise, the starting outfield should be Brett Gardner, Aaron Hicks and Stanton.
Say Boone has reason to use Stanton as the DH more often than not — to save him from potential injury — go for it, but find another “outfielder.”
And I mean that as in anyone else who can hit. Arguments can be made that outfield defense is worth so little compared to a good hitting, weak fielding right fielder. Throw the red-hot Neil Walker out there. What about Luke Voit?
Voit has played a majority of his professional career at first base but did come up to the big leagues as a catcher. The hulking righty has even played a few games out in left field. There’s a lot of possibilities.
But Voit isn’t a much better option than Robinson. A slash line of .174/.269/.304 this year with the Cardinals and the Yankees, Voit is of little value to a baseball team. On top of that, neither Voit nor Robinson are spring chickens.
Voit, aged 27 and Robinson, aged 33; each having little room for potential growth. Voit also strikes out at a rate close to that of Giancarlo Stanton, who, as we all know, strikes out a lot.
This is, in large, due to the fact that Voit only makes contact on 64 percent of all swings. He whiffs a lot; 36 percent of the time to be exact. Robinson, on the other hand, doesn’t strikeout all that much, which is great. But through his career, only 17 percent of his batted balls have been considered line drives with over 50 percent ground balls.
Robinson is very good at making contact — 84 percent of his swings throughout his entire career have resulted in contact. The problem is that this contact usually doesn’t turn into hits.
Both these two guys should not be starting for the Yankees, perhaps not even be on the major league roster. But the Bombers think these two deserve a shot.
Who knows? Maybe the Yankees know something we don’t and these two will soon start raking in runs. But until then, I will continue to state that Robinson and Voit are not helping the Yanks at a time of need and something’s got to change.