The Yankees announced Tuesday that they’ve activated first baseman Luke Voit from the 10-day injured list. The 30-year-old slugger missed the first five-plus weeks of the season after undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his knee, but he’s been on a rehab assignment in Triple-A Scranton and is now set to make his 2021 debut.
Voit led the majors with 22 long balls during last year’s shortened season, batting .277/.338/.610 overall. He’s been a revelation since coming to the Yankees in a trade that sent setup man Giovanny Gallegos to the Cardinals, as he’s seized the everyday first base job on the strength of a .279/.372/.543 with 57 homers in 897 plate appearances.
The return of Voit should be a spark for a Yankees lineup that has struggled to gel over the course of the season. A revitalized Giancarlo Stanton is in the midst of a hot streak for the ages, but as a whole, the Yankees are tied for 21st in the majors in runs scored, 24th in batting average (.222) and 19th in slugging percentage (.381). Their collective .320 OBP is still the seventh-best mark of any team in the game, but the Yankees have received sub-par production from the likes of Gary Sanchez, Aaron Hicks, Gleyber Torres and Clint Frazier to this point.
First base, in particular, has been a black hole for the Yankees. DJ LeMahieu is hitting well overall but hasn’t been as productive when slotted in at first base — a reality that is merely coincidental — while Jay Bruce, Mike Ford and Miguel Andujar haven’t produced in their opportunities there. Through 144 plate appearances, Yankees first basemen are batting .150/.250/.244 so far in 2021.