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Yankees activate Luke Voit, send relievers on rehab assignments

Voit’s back in the Bronx, and Darren O’Day and Justin Wilson will head to Scranton.

MLB: Chicago White Sox at New York Yankees Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

As expected, the Yankees made a small roster move prior to Tuesday night’s game against the Royals, though perhaps no roster move is too small when it involves the previous season’s home run leader. Luke Voit is healthy again and back with the Yankees, as the team activated him from the injured list. This was the logical follow-up to first baseman Chris Gittens being sent down to Triple-A Scranton after Sunday’s game.

Voit’s had a tough time truly getting going in 2021. A spring training injury forced him to undergo knee surgery to repair a partially torn meniscus and miss the first six weeks of the season. Voit returned on May 11th but only mustered a .530 OPS and a single homer in 12 games before an oblique strain sent him right back to the IL. The Yankees are hoping that now, Voit will be back for good, as they’ve sorely missed quality production from first base. Gittens, Mike Ford, Jay Bruce, and an out-of-position DJ LeMahieu just haven’t cut it. Expect to see Voit in the lineup tonight against the Royals.

In other injury updates, the Yankees also announced that Darren O’Day and Justin Wilson will begin rehab assignments in Scranton. The two new relievers were both expected to be key parts of the Yankees’ bullpen in 2021, but O’Day has been mostly hurt and has been mostly ineffective.

The sidearmer O’Day got off to a fine start in April with a 3.00 ERA and 1.111 WHIP in 10 games, but on May 1st, he landed on the IL with a rotator cuff strain. He’d been throwing bullpen sessions recently and now seems to be on the way back.

Wilson missed the first week of the season with tightness in his left shoulder, and after a decent beginning in April, he melted down in May. A catastrophic 8.59 ERA in eight games that month tanked his overall numbers, which don’t look very pretty. The last time folks saw the lefty on the mound, he was in the process of surrendering a walk-off homer to Robbie Grossman and the last-place Tigers on May 28th (the beginning of an embarrassing sweep in Detroit). Wilson was shuttled to the IL afterward with a hamstring strain and will have to regain Yankees fans’ confidence after his rehab assignment is complete.