His handedness, his patience, and his defensive prowess all help further the balance of power that Joey Gallo’s presence has started to shift, too.
Just because Rizzo’s been imported, though, does not mean Voit deserves to disappear from the equation entirely, something he’s made perfectly clear with his thunderous bat and a few cat-like defensive plays over the past several impressive games.
Rizzo’s comeback from the COVID IL is nigh, and after a 2-0 victory over the Red Sox to sweep Tuesday’s doubleheader (powered by a Voit bomb), the now fill-in first baseman spoke up about how much playing time he believes he’s earned moving forward. And he’s absolutely right.
There’s a reason we were all nervous right up to the edge of the trade deadline about Voit’s future: he can mash, and there was no reason to discard him for spare parts just because two months (presumably) of Rizzo was about to arrive.
Sad spin: you never know what injuries may arrive tomorrow. Good spin: the best version of the Yankees lineup includes both Rizzo and Voit, and you know that to be true.
Voit knows it, too.
Yankees star Luke Voit deserves to play when Anthony Rizzo returns.
No, Voit will not go quietly into that dark night. In fact, he’ll go loudly out into deep right.
Rizzo was acquired because of the defense and balance he provides, sure, but a move never would’ve been made at that position if Voit hadn’t missed large chunks of the first half with a trio of maladies. If he’d been an MVP in the season’s first 60 games like he was in 2020, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. That’s all he’s saying.
Two things can be true: Rizzo should be slid back into a prominent role as soon as he’s able to be, but Voit shouldn’t be shunned to the corner. He also shouldn’t be a primary pinch-hitter, either.
Luckily, the rest of the clubhouse seems to understand that, too. Giancarlo Stanton has been playing in the outfield on a relatively routine basis lately, and it seems to have aided his offensive rhythm, too.
If you place him in left three times a week, give him a weekly breather, then bench Rizzo once against a tough lefty, you have five Voit starts in a week — which should be more than enough, considering his recent health stumbles.
Thanks to a bit of increased Stantonian versatility, there’s a bite of the cookie available for everyone.
Voit wasn’t trying to tarnish Rizzo’s contributions or lower him to raise himself. He was simply stating facts. Aaron Boone had better get both men in the lineup as often as he can, because this fire has been lit.