Yankees: Luke Voit making the most of his opportunity
By Scott Roche
New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has made plenty of trades during his tenure in the Bronx. What looked like a minor trade made in July 2018 appears to be a valuable now.
Looking to make room on the roster for newly acquired pitchers Zack Britton and J.A. Happ, the Yankees sent pitchers Chasen Shreve and Giovanny Gallegos to the St. Louis Cardinals for minor league first basemen Luke Voit.
Voit began his Yankee career with Scranton Wilkes-Barre. Not long after being acquired, Voit got his chance in Pinstripes and the rest is history.
Voit came up and played in 39 games in the final month and a half of the 2018 regular season with 14 home runs, 33 RBI, and a slash line of .333/.408/.689. He also had a two-run triple in the Wild Card game against Blake Treinen and the Oakland Athletics in a 7-2 win at Yankee Stadium. That production was a far cry from his 70 games in the majors over two years for St. Louis in which he had four home runs and 18 RBI prior to the trade.
Voit would find himself in a battle for first base with Greg Bird in Spring Training 2019. Bird was once thought of as the first baseman of the future with left-handed power that was built for the short porch in right at Yankee Stadium. Things, however, changed last April.
Bird suffered a foot injury and was placed on the IL in early April. He was later moved to the 60-day IL in early May before it was announced he would miss the entire season. Voit would take full advantage of the opportunity.
In 118 games, he would smack 21 home runs, 21 doubles and drive in 62 runs. Voit would join a long list of Yankees on the IL list in 2019 with an abdominal injury suffered on the Yanks trip to London against the Boston Red Sox. He returned two months later and struggled still feeling the effects of his injury. He ended up being left off the Yankees postseason roster.
Voit came into Spring Training this season healthy and ready to go in what he hoped would be an injury-free 2020 season before Major League Baseball shut down on March 12 amid the coronavirus pandemic that has broken out worldwide. Not getting a chance in St. Louis, Voit took full opportunity of the trade and in his time in a Yankees uniform. Once baseball can return either this year or next, Voit will be back at first base and the Yankees hope he can return to his hitting ways and stay healthy. It would be another addition to an already dangerous lineup.