It would have been difficult to fathom for most of the year, but thanks to a late-season slump, first baseman/designated hitter Luke Voit might not make the Yankees’ ALDS roster, per George A. King III and Dan Martin of the New York Post.
Whether Voit participates in the Yankees’ first-round series will depend in part on the status of fellow first baseman/DH Edwin Encarnacion. An oblique strain has kept Encarnacion out for more than two weeks, but general manager Brian Cashman said (via Bryan Hoch of MLB.com) that the Yankees “expect him to be available Friday” when the series begins.
Voit and Encarnacion were similarly productive during the regular season, but the former’s numbers dipped amid a rocky finish. A sports hernia led to multiple stints on the injured list in the season’s second half for Voit, who missed almost all of August. While Voit boasted an .886 OPS upon his return a month ago, he ended the year a .263/.378/.464 hitter after an ice-cold September in which he batted .194/.326/.347 in 86 trips to the plate. Voit inflicted a particularly large amount of damage on his numbers from Sept. 15 onward, as he closed the season on a 1-for-32 skid with 13 strikeouts.
Now, with an October matchup against the similarly home run-happy Twins looming, the Yankees may opt to shelve Voit in favor of Encarnacion and rookie Mike Ford. Unlike Voit, Ford was an offensive machine during the last several weeks of the season. One of the many unsung Yankees to step up during an injury-riddled 2019 for the club, the 27-year-old Ford slashed a power-packed .259/.350/.559 with 12 home runs, a lofty .301 ISO and a low 17.2 percent strikeout rate in his 163-PA major league debut.