Yankees two first basemen getting closer to returning


There is a real possibility that when the postseason begins, the Yankees could have a majority of their current injured stars back on the active roster.

It’s hard to complain that the Yankees have been without their main two options at first base for some time now. After all, although D.J. LeMahieu isn’t technically a “first baseman,” he’ll battle Mike Trout during the final month of the regular season for AL MVP honors.

However, that’s an article and likely argument for another time. Instead, the Yanks received good news pertaining to two of their sluggers currently on the injured list, Edwin Encarnacion and Luke Voit.

Voit, who has for the time being avoided sports hernia surgery, played in his third straight rehab game down at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Sunday.

And if a monster home run on Saturday, culminating in a 2-for-4 performance with a walk isn’t indicative of his overall readiness, then perhaps his 3-for-5 night with an RBI on Sunday is.

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Out of action since July 31, the Yankees expect Voit to rejoin the team in the Bronx when they face the A’s on Friday.

In Voit’s absence, Mike Ford has done a nice job of filling in. Over his past 16 games, the 27-year-old Ford has slugged six homers, 10 RBIs and scored 10 runs.

Then there’s Edwin Encarnacion. Having fractured his right wrist after being hit by a pitch some three weeks ago, The Parrot has begun baseball activities at the team’s Spring Training complex in Tampa, FLA.

Although the Yanks don’t have a return date set for the 36-year-old, he’s already playing catch, taking grounders, hitting off a tee and soft toss. The club feels he’ll be back in plenty of time to knock the rust off before the playoffs begin — even if that initial 3-to-5 week timeframe for return was presumptuous.

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Since being acquired from the Mariners back on June 15, Encarnacion had been a steady presence in the middle of the Bombers’ order. In 36 games (143 at-bats) with the Yankees, Encarnacion has slugged nine homers and driven in 27 RBIs.