Yankees: Is Luke Voit going to make the postseason roster?
Luke Voit finished off the regular season with a brutal 1 for 32 stretch and it might cost him a spot on the Yankees postseason roster. Voit seemed like a sure thing to make the roster earlier this month but his struggles combined with the emergence of Mike Ford could lead to the rookie getting the nod ahead of him.
The Yankees have a couple more days to figure out who’s going to be on their 25-man roster to face the Twins, but right now my guess is Voit will be left on the outside looking in.
That’s assuming Edwin Encarnacion will be on the ALDS roster because if he’s not then there’s a good chance both Voit and Ford will make it. Encarnacion (oblique strain) still wasn’t feeling 100% on Sunday but continues to say that he’ll be ready for Friday and if he is he’s likely going to be the Yankees starting DH.
Voit will never admit it but you wonder if his struggles have a lot do with the abdominal strain he suffered during the London Series on June 29th and the sports hernia injury that kept him out of action from July 31st until August 30th. He’s already said that he might need surgery after the season is over so it’s hard not to assume that those injuries have contributed to his lackluster play in September.
Ever since he returned he hasn’t looked the same and his power production has really taken a big dip. In 72 at-bats in September Voit only hit 2 HR and his slugging percentage was .347%. His batting average of .194 was a season worse for any month and he struck out 23 times. Over the past two weeks especially, he’s looked lost at the plate and he’s been getting overpowered consistently with fastballs up in the zone.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Mike Ford continues to impress and have quality at-bats. Ford raised his season average all the way up to .259 after hitting .353 in 34 at-bats during September. He also had a team-leading .706 SLG % and a 1.142 OPS and hit 3 HR with 10 RBI in less than half the amount of at-bats as Voit had throughout the month.
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Another reason why I’d give Ford the edge is he’s arguably the best left-handed power source on the roster right now in a lineup that is extremely right-handed heavy. I don’t think Ford will start in the playoffs if Encarnacion is healthy, but he’d be a great left-handed option to have on the bench to pinch-hit late in a game if need be. His 11 at-bats as a pinch hitter is a small sample size but it actually leads the entire team and he’s hitting .455 with 2 HR in those situations.
Based on these numbers the decision for Aaron Boone and company seems like a pretty easy one and honestly, it should be. The injury has clearly derailed Voit since the All-Star break and he hasn’t been the same player he was during the first four months of the season. I could be wrong, but after he finished the season with only one hit in his last 32 at-bats I just don’t see how the Yanks could choose him instead of going with the hot hand in Ford.
Rookie or not, he’s been one of their best hitters dating all the way back to the start of August and he’s earned the opportunity to be on the roster.