If that was it for Luke Voit, man, do the New York Yankees have to answer some questions. And the media better hold the team accountable.
Voit, despite being among the main spark plugs during the team’s 13-game winning streak back in August, has been relegated to the bench ever since Anthony Rizzo returned from the COVID list. It’s been quite depressing for Yankees fans, so we truly can’t imagine what he’s feeling.
For some reason, manager Aaron Boone, despite plenty of opportunities to play Voit in the DH spot when Giancarlo Stanton gets the start in the outfield, has felt using Voit as a pinch hitter in tight spots is a good idea.
Explain that reasoning? Not only did you take his starting job away, but you also eliminated whatever part-time opportunities that may have remained. Preferably, a regular pinch hitter needs to be a player motivated to prove himself in those select moments.
What’s Voit’s reason to be motivated? Injuries derailed his first half, then he got healthy and performed, then he lost his job. He’s a player who needs to be in a rhythm, not someone getting one or two at-bats every five days.
Until Wednesday night, Voit hadn’t seen the field since Sept. 22, but there he was, pinch hitting for Brett Gardner in the seventh inning with runners on first and second as the Yankees trailed by two runs. The result couldn’t have been worse.
Yankees slugger Luke Voit injured himself in a pinch-hit at-bat.
Voit was retired via strikeout on five pitches and looked particularly bad. What did you expect? He hasn’t sniffed an at-bat in a week.
To make matters worse, when he struck out and the ball got by catcher Reese McGuire, he took off for first base in order to make something out of nothing, even though he didn’t need to because the bag was occupied. On a completely meaningless play, Voit injured himself in his attempt to salvage the awful at-bat and limped back to the dugout.
Even more confusing is Voit’s ineffectiveness as a pinch hitter, yet Boone’s insistence on keeping him in this near-useless role for a player of his caliber. The first baseman is 2-for-11 with a single and a solo home run with six strikeouts when called upon off the bench this season. Additionally, Voit’s offensive style doesn’t exactly cater to the duties of a pinch hitter, and that’s not a knock on him. He’s simply an everyday slugger who capitalizes when he’s able to get multiple at-bats.
And now, since Voit has so few opportunities to help out his team, the pressure is ten-fold, which doesn’t really put him in a favorable spot. Once again, the manager’s job! More evidence that Boone may not have a grasp on the human element of the game.
As a result, Voit’s career has suffered greatly because of it, and it’s truly upsetting that this is the way his tenure in pinstripes is going to end.