Voit, 28, hasn’t played in a month thanks to an abdominal injury that, at one point, looked like it could require surgery. Rather than undergo a sports hernia procedure, though, the burgeoning slugger was able to rest and rehab the injury sufficiently enough to suit up for a minor league rehab assignment recently. To say that Voit didn’t miss a beat would perhaps be putting things mildly; in four games with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, he went 8-for-17 with two doubles, two home runs and two walks (against two strikeouts).
This marked the second time in 2019 that Voit missed time due to abdominal injuries, but those have been the only blemish on an otherwise excellent showing in his first full season of big league duty. In 94 games (416 plate appearances), he’s hitting .278/.392/.493 with 19 home runs, 16 doubles and a triple. Overall, he’s raked at a .293/.395/.547 clip in Yankee Pinstripes, although the trade that brought him from St. Louis to the Bronx now looks quite a bit less lopsided in light of righty Giovanny Gallegos’ own breakout in the Cardinals’ bullpen.
Speaking of breakouts (and of players named Giovanny), the 27-year-old Urshela has erupted at the plate this summer. Long touted as a steady defender with questionable offensive capabilities, he’s not only looked like a potential regular but been one of the Yankees’ best hitters. In 414 trips to the dish, he’s laid waste to MLB pitching with a .331/.370/.555 batting line.
While his .366 average on balls in play still looks ripe for some regression, Urshela’s hard-hit rate and average exit velocity are both well above the league average. Statcast pegs him as one of the game’s leaders in expected batting average, slugging percentage and weight on-base average. In short: he’s hitting with excellent power and demonstrating previously unseen levels of power. Offensive breakouts throughout the league abound in 2019 amid questions about structural changes to the baseball itself, but it’s impossible to ignore just how valuable Urshela has been for the Yankees to date.
The Yankees didn’t provide any sort of timeline on Urshela, so it remains unclear just how long he’ll be sidelined. Presumably, manager Aaron Boone will have an update later tonight. In his absence, the Yankees can still lean on a high-quality quartet of Voit, DJ LeMahieu, Didi Gregorius and Gleyber Torres around the infield, though the roster is unequivocally stronger with a healthy Urshela in tow.