The injuries continue to pile up for the New York Yankees. Starting 1B Luke Voit is on the IL with a sports hernia that could cost him 6 weeks of action if team doctors proceed with surgery.
The Yankees medical staff is evaluating Voit the next few days and will determine if he needs rest or surgery.
“Over the next 24 hours, we’ll determine a course of action,” said Yankees manager Aaron Boone. “Hopefully it’s a shorter-term situation with Luke, but worst-case, we’ll hopefully have him back before the end of the season, and we have all the people capable of withstanding that.”
Voit spent ten days on the IL in early July with an abdominal strain. Voit hit 19 home runs this season.
Edwin Encarnacion, who the Yankees acquired in a trade with the Seattle Mariners primarily as a DH, moved into the starting 1B role when Voit got hurt a couple weeks earlier. He will fill in for Voit in the meantime. Infielder Gio Urshela can also play first base if Aaron Boone needs another backup.
With an open roster spot, the Yankees called up infielder Breyvic Valera from AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Valera slugged 11 home runs in AAA while hitting .328.
More Bronx ER: Now Voit
Since Spring Training, the Yankees have been staring in their own horror-based reality show known as “Bronx ER”. So many players have been injured and spent time on the IL, it would be easier to list the players who avoided time on the IL this season. Voit is now joining the list of Yankees who spent multiple stints on the IL including Gary Sanchez, CC Sabathia, and Giancarlo Stanton.
Last week outfielder Brett Gardner went on the IL with a sore knee. Although they did not send All-Star DJ LeMahieu on the IL, the Yankees MVP candidate has been sidelined after tweaking his groin. LeMahieu is leading the AL in hitting at .332 and is third overall in the MLB.
As soon as LeMahieu returns to the lineup, he will be a viable option at first base. That way, Encarnacion can return to the DH spot and Gio Urshela will return to third base.
Greg Bird, Voit’s backup, is still out for an unspecified amount of time. Back in early May, Bird went on the 60-day IL with a torn plantar fasciitis. His return is still a long way off. For now, it’s Encarnacion/LeMahieu.
LeMahieu won a Gold Glove with the Colorado Rockies last season at second base. He did not complain when manager Aaron Boone moved him around the infield. LeMahieu can play all four infield positions. He started out at second base when Didi Gregorius was recovering from Tommy John surgery. He moved to third base when Didi return. Now with Voit out, LeMahieu’s versatility is clutch.
Voit is one tough cookie. A week earlier, he got hit in the face with a fastball and didn’t leave the game right away. He walked to first base and even scored later that inning.
“The guy took a 91mph fastball to the face and nothing broke,” said announcer David Cone. “That’s like superhero level.”
Boone pulled him at that point, but Voit did not miss the next game. He returned to the lineup which added more ammo to the legend of Luke Voit.
Luke Voit got hit by a fastball IN THE FACE and tried to stay in the game.
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) July 20, 2019