The Yankees have gone without first baseman Luke Voit this season, but the slugger is progressing in his recovery from surgery on a torn left meniscus. Manager Aaron Boone said Thursday (via Bryan Hoch of MLB.com) that Voit could make his 2021 debut in approximately two weeks.
The 7-11 Yankees have sorely missed Voit, who swatted a major league-leading 22 home runs last season and turned in a line of .277/.338/.610 (152 wRC+) in 234 plate appearances. Fill-in first basemen Jay Bruce (who retired last weekend), DJ LeMahieu and Mike Ford haven’t approached that type of production this year. New York’s offense hasn’t just sputtered at that position, though, as the unit currently ranks 26th out of 30 MLB teams in both wRC+ (84) and runs scored (65). So far this season, only three Yankees regulars – LeMahieu, right fielder Aaron Judge and third baseman Gio Urshela – have posted a wRC+ north of the league-average mark of 100.
While Voit’s bat ought to help point the Yankees’ offense in a better direction, another potential benefit is that New York should be able to primarily use LeMahieu at second – his natural position. That means the Yankees shouldn’t have to rely as much on fellow second baseman Rougned Odor, whom they acquired from the Rangers on April 6. New York took a low-risk flyer on Odor in the hopes he would rebound from back-to-back dismal seasons, but a change of scenery hasn’t led to positive results to this point. While the 27-year-old did collect a pair of singles Thursday, he’s still only hitting .167/.219/.267 over 32 PA.