The New York Yankees have an embarrassment of riches at the first base position, as Aaron Boone needs to figure out how to get trade acquisition Anthony Rizzo and 2020 home run leader Luke Voit in the lineup together. With tonight’s solid performance against the Minnesota Twins, Voit is making it almost impossible to take him out of the lineup.
Voit might have started out the season slow amid some injury problems, but he has been tearing the cover off of the ball lately, and recording four hits and four RBI, one of which came on a solo home run against a beat-up Twins pitching staff goes to show that he is seeing the ball very well lately.
When Rizzo was acquired, Voit had hit just three home runs in 29 games. Over the last week, where Voit was getting consistent at-bats due to Rizzo’s COVID-19 positive test, the Missouri-bred slugger is hitting .521 and has recorded 11 hits in the last six games. He’s got three home runs to his name.
If Boone was going to platoon the left-handed Rizzo and right-handed Voit, Luke’s stretch of uncommonly hot mashing has to have changed things around. The Yankees need to get Voit into the lineup as much as possible, even if that means playing Giancarlo Stanton in the field more and taking a handful of at-bats away from Rizzo.
The Yankees can’t take Luke Voit out of the lineup.
Voit ended up in the headlines for his comments that sounded to some like a demand for playing time, but he has taken advantage of that fact over the last few days. Consider the hatchet formally buried.
With Voit mashing, Rizzo still hot, and Stanton able to play in the field, the Yankees can fit all of these mashers into the line at once.
New York appears to relaxed their commitment to keeping Stanton as the designated hitter, meaning that he could go out to left field while Rizzo plays first base and Voit takes on DH duty, with the latter two alternating spots. With Aaron Judge and Joey Gallo also in the outfield, the fans in the bleachers had better be ready to snag some dingers.
Sure, the Red Sox weren’t exactly throwing prime Roger Clemens out on the mound against the Yankees, and the Twins are playing like a team fighting to stay out of last place, but Voit has looked more patient and assertive, whereas earlier in the year he looked confused. His late-season surge should be rewarded with more time at the plate.
With Boone having hit Voit leadoff in the past, sticking him at the top of the lineup as a DH and following him with Rizzo at first, Judge in center, and Gallo and Stanton in the corner outfield spots could be one of the most intimidating lineups in the sport.