The Yankees will activate first baseman Luke Voit from the 10-day injured list Saturday, Bryan Hoch of MLB.com tweets. The club cleared room for Voit on Friday by optioning infielder Breyvic Valera to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
It’s not apparent from looking at the Yankees’ major league-best 58-31 record, but long-term injuries to core players have haunted them all season. Voit, however, is returning to their lineup in short order after going to the IL on July 2 (retroactive to June 30) with an abdominal strain. Before that, Voit was continuing his emerge as one of the majors’ best offensive first basemen with a .280/.393/.509 line and 17 home runs in 349 plate appearances. The Yankees primarily relied on Edwin Encarnacion and DJ LeMahieu at first in Voit’s absence.
Unfortunately for New York, outfielder Giancarlo Stanton won’t return to its lineup in the near future. Stanton, who has dealt with a series of injuries this year and played in just nine games, went back to the IL on June 26 with a PCL strain in his right knee. At the time, general manager Brian Cashman cast doubt on the possibility of Stanton returning in July. Stanton still hasn’t resumed baseball activities, according to Hoch, so a July return does indeed look out of the question. The Yankees have gotten through Stanton’s latest injury with the aid of a hot streak from his replacement in left field, Brett Gardner.
While the Yankees’ offense has barely had Stanton this season, the team’s bullpen hasn’t gotten a single pitch from right-hander Dellin Betances. The four-time All-Star setup man first dealt with a bone spur in his shoulder before suffering a lat injury, though there is progress to report: Betances is slated to begin a throwing program Monday, per Hoch. The solid season-long performances of Adam Ottavino, Zach Britton and Tommy Kahnle have helped the Yankees build a sturdy bridge to closer Aroldis Chapman even without Betances.