On Thursday, New York Yankees fans' worst fears were confirmed when Anthony Rizzo was placed on the injured list due to a "likely concussion," because of course the medical staff couldn't definitively determine what was wrong.
The sad part is that everyone watching from home knew this was likely the case ever since Fernando Tatis Jr. collided with Rizzo on a pickoff attempt. Tatis crashed into Rizzo's head/neck area back on May 28, and the veteran first baseman was clearly shaken up. He was kept out of the lineup for a few days with the team traveling to Seattle the next day for a three-game series, but then he returned for a set against the Dodgers in LA.
From that point forward, it was all downhill. Rizzo has been one of the worst hitters in baseball over the last two months and has endured multiple career-worst stretches over that span -- like something we've never seen.
Over two months later, Rizzo told the team he felt "foggy" after his five-strikeout game against the Orioles. The Yankees' solution? Play him the next two games! Brilliant.
In the end, Rizzo saw a neurologist and it was determined he was dealing with some cognitive impairment, which led to his IL stint. But the way he described his symptoms and overall experience over the last couple months was scary for fans to hear.
Yankees News: Anthony Rizzo's scary injury quote, Luke Voit hits free agency
The lone silver lining here is that the Yankees have identified the problem, got Rizzo's terribly ailing bat out of the lineup, and can now shift Jake Bauers to his natural first base position instead of playing him in the corner outfield spots (where he hasn't really been good).
New problem, though! The Yankees could use a backup first baseman, something they haven't really had all year. DJ LeMahieu can hold down the fort at the position, but he's mostly been used at third base and it's probably best to bring in outside help given the number of outfielders at the Yankees' disposal (Estevan Florial, Everson Pereira, Franchy Cordero).
And what do you know! Former Yankees first baseman Luke Voit just hit free agency after he opted out of his contract with the Mets. Voit was tearing the cover off the ball at Triple-A Syracuse and clearly belongs at the big-league level.
But will the Yankees let their pride get in the way? They kind of shoved Voit aside after acquiring Rizzo back in 2021 despite the slugger being one of their most productive bats and energizing players from 2019-2020. Injuries limited him in 2021, but he was still capable of getting the job done. The Yankees felt differently and didn't accommodate Voit in the lineup (even though they could have) after trading for Rizzo and then shipped him off to the Padres in the offseason, which began his unpleasant journey hopping around the league (traded to the Nats, non-tendered, signed by the Brewers, designated for assignment, signed with the Mets, stuck in the minor leagues).
Now, there's a vacancy. There's the familiarity element. It almost seems too easy. That's why the Yankees probably won't do it.