The New York Yankees just got a bit more left-handed and fearsome in the bullpen and the lineup thanks to some high-profile returns on Wednesday.
Unfortunately, one of those returns will almost definitely cut into the playing time of one of Tuesday’s heroes.
Don’t read too much into this, though; according to Boone, he and Voit have the whole situation smoothed out. This Day 1 benching is not some grand reverberation from the burly slugger’s comments following Tuesday night’s second game.
Yes, Voit believes he deserves to play now that Rizzo’s back in the fold. Yes, he’s right.
And yes, he’ll play plenty.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone defended Luke Voit Wednesday.
Though many of us remain frustrated with the first lineup after Rizzo’s return, the fact remains that the best version of this offense includes Giancarlo Stanton in the outfield and Voit/Rizzo swapping DH and first base reps (to occasionally give Rizzo a breather following his COVID battle).
Boone seems to get that, though we also understand why he might not want Stanton in right chasing Andrew Heaney’s deep fly balls all evening long.
This debacle, as long as there’s nothing lingering between Boone and Voit, is a prime example of a champagne problem, anyway. The Yankees have struggled enough with injury issues since 2018 that fans should be used to the constant rotation by now. Having an MVP candidate in Voit willing to fill a spot is a massive luxury. Having Stanton, Rizzo, Voit, Joey Gallo, Aaron Judge and Brett Gardner to rotate around is powerful depth. At some point, all six men will not be available, and that depth will be tested. Savor this point in the year where they’re all ready, off the bench or otherwise.
Boone brought with him more good news when he stepped to the podium on Wednesday, too: Aroldis Chapman, suddenly, is back.
Is Chapman the world’s most trustworthy closer? Nope. Not really. But is he worlds better than a busted Zack Britton right now, as well as an unavailable Chad Green and Jonathan Loaisiga? Yes! Without his help on Wednesday, we’re not sure where the outs were supposed to come from.
They might not come at all, thanks to Andrew Heaney’s participation, but still. We’re doing the best we can here.
Early reports claimed Brady Koerner and Jonathan Davis were headed to Triple-A, but it now appears Nelson has replaced the bullpen’s long man. As far as corresponding roster moves go, these aren’t particularly painful. Though Koerner is the last man in the ‘pen and hasn’t pitched since closing out a 13-1 victory over the Orioles two weeks ago, he’s still a more controlled performer than the erratic and useless Nelson. Regular Triple-A reps make more sense for him, anyway.
Davis’ bat never came alive at any point in pinstripes, but he plays a mean center field, and we’re glad to have him in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre for now.
On Wednesday night, the Yankees will go for an improbable sweep over the Red Sox and they’ll get both their best closer and biggest deadline acquisition back. The rest is just noise.