The Yankees’ prodigal big boi is back. Just before noon on Tuesday and prior to the evening matchup against the Rays at Tropicana Field, the Yankees activated Luke Voit from the injured list. He’ll presumably once again be in the heart of the lineup as New York squares off against its AL East rivals. (The Yankees already had an open spot on the roster after demoting Miguel Andújar on Sunday.)
Voit suffered a knee injury in spring training that turned out to be a partially torn meniscus that required surgery. Although the Yankees already had a loaded lineup on paper, it was evident how much they missed his bat. Voit led the majors in the shortened 2020 with 22 homers — the only player to top 20 on the season. With Voit absent from first base, the Yankees mostly had to lean on the now-retired Jay Bruce and a dismal version of Mike Ford that no longer has his 2019 magic.
Sure enough, New York first basemen rank 21st out of all 30 teams in wRC+ with 85, and that’s mostly backed by DJ LeMahieu’s occasional appearances there when Rougned Odor was in the lineup at second. The Yankees should be in much better shape on offense with Voit back in the fold, menacing pitchers with the threat of dingers in any given at-bat.
This is just me spitballing a lineup, but assuming that Gio Urshela is also back from the knee injury that kept him out of action against the Nationals, imagine this:
2B DJ LeMahieu
DH Giancarlo Stanton
RF Aaron Judge
1B Luke Voit
3B Gio Urshela
SS Gleyber Torres
CF Aaron Hicks
LF Clint Frazier
C Gary Sánchez/Kyle Higashioka
All of the sudden, that looks a lot better than when the likes of Ford, Andújar, and Tyler Wade were occupying spots. Voit himself is raring to go: