Bad news: It’s because Luke Voit needs knee surgery.
Who saw that coming, other than every doom-saying Yankee fan on the planet?
Voit had knee issues crop up early in spring training — and we admonished him at the time for sprinting second-to-third on a fly ball to left despite having been scratched the previous day with soreness.
Now, this is not the time to panic. It’s not a long-term issue, the team has the depth to account for Voit’s absence because the evaluation occurred specifically during Bruce’s 48-hour opt-out window, and the Yanks aren’t exactly lacking for offense.
That said, to learn that an on-and-off knee injury needs to be surgically repaired just a few days before the team headed north to open the regular season isn’t a joyous occasion, and isn’t the way Bruce hoped to make the roster.
Congratulations to Mike Tauchman, who earned a spot, too. Bittersweet.
Jay Bruce made the Yankees due to Luke Voit’s surgery.
How long will the Yanks be without Voit? Tough to say, of course, but they’ve prescribed a three-week rest timeline which includes two weeks of regular season action.
A bullish Aaron Boone believes Voit will be back “considerably sooner” than June, which would indicate…the middle of May? You’d have to think, in that case, this procedure is more of a cleanup than a reconstruction.
But why wasn’t an examination done weeks ago, when Voit was racing around the diamond on his stiff knee?
This is obviously depressing for a multitude of reasons, but first and foremost for me was Voit’s enthusiasm about experiencing Opening Day with a partial crowd in the Bronx when we spoke on Thursday.
This spring, Bruce started red hot, striking a pair of homers in his first week of action. Regrettably, he entered his opt-out window with just six total hits on the spring. Oddly enough, Bruce did opt out and was on the verge of leaving the roster bubble before being informed early Saturday that he’d made the team.
Bruce is certainly not the worst backup plan (for a limited time), but yet another injury issue for a Bombers team built on sustaining them still stings — especially right at the horn.