Have the New York Yankees simply needed more Luke Voit in their life? In theory, while he’s a tremendous baseball player, this offense doesn’t hinge on his availability. But that could very well be the story in 2021.
The Bombers’ offense has largely been awful. They’re 29th in MLB (only ahead of the Pittsburgh Pirates) in various hitting with runners in scoring position stats. The power continues to lack. The clutch hitting largely doesn’t exist.
But these last three games against the Kansas City Royals — yup, even the series opener! — showed us some life … and it all coincided with Voit’s return from the injured list after battling an oblique issue.
The 2020 home run champ is already changing the complexion of this lineup.
Voit played in all three games after being activated and went 4-for-13 with two runs scored, two home runs and three RBI in the series win. Immediate production. Palpable positive energy.
He homered in the first pitch he saw in a month. It was the most aggressive piece of hitting from any Yankees player all season.
Luke Voit’s presence and energy is about to turn the Yankees around.
Voit played in just 12 games prior to this series because of preseason knee surgery followed by the oblique strain. We previously talked at length about how his accountability and candor were sorely missed since the rest of this team loves to dance around questions from the media and/or refuses to accept blame.
The first baseman hasn’t had to deal with any of that (yet), but in short order he homered in his first at-bat, notched a walk-off hit on Wednesday night, and extended the team’s lead on Thursday with a solo shot.
And that was almost his third homer. At the very least, we got a Stone Cold Steve Austin celebration multiple times throughout the series. Thank you, dugout cam.
Yes, the Yankees just played the Royals. Yes, the Yankees have enough capable hitters to get by without Voit. But many things are different in 2021.
The Yankees have zero vocal leaders. So many players have inexplicably regressed or continue to work their way in and out of slumps. They need every key player on this version of the team to keep their World Series aspirations alive.
Voit is very much an integral piece. Somehow, he might end up being the most important one, too.