Surgery has seemed like a strong possibility for Yankees first baseman Luke Voit since he landed on the injured list with a sports hernia on July 31. Fortunately for New York, however, Voit’s “very optimistic” he’ll be able to avoid going under the knife, Lindsey Adler of The Athletic tweets. Voit will hit Tuesday for the first time he went to the IL.
Core problems have derailed Voit’s season dating back to the start of July, when an abdominal strain forced him to the shelf. This has nonetheless been a strong season for the 28-year-old Voit, who has slashed .278/.392/.493 with 19 home runs in 416 plate appearances. Voit has been one of the top offensive performers in a New York offense that has survived one major injury after another this year en route to a first-place tie for the American League’s best record. With him and DH/first baseman Edwin Encarnacion currently among wounded Yankees, the club has been deploying a combination of utilityman extraordinaire DJ LeMahieu and Mike Ford at 1B. A large cast, including Ford, has been sharing DH duties of late.
Like New York’s offense, its pitching staff has faced notable injuries throughout 2019. The Yankees’ top starter, Luis Severino, and their No. 1 setup man, Dellin Betances, haven’t pitched at all because of shoulder and lat problems. But both right-handers got through their bullpen sessions Monday without issues, per Meredith Marakovits of the YES Network (Twitter links). Expectations are that Severino will throw one more bullpen before he graduates to facing live hitters. There’s optimism he’ll be able to help the Yankees’ rotation by mid-September, David Lennon of Newsday observes. Betances will toss another bullpen Wednesday.
Meanwhile, left-hander CC Sabathia is progressing in his recovery from right knee inflammation and could rejoin the Yankees’ rotation for their series against Cleveland this weekend, per Bryan Hoch of MLB.com. Sabathia has been on the IL since July 28.