Voit went 1-for-3 with a solo home run and two strikeouts Monday against the Braves. Voit took Bryse Wilson deep for his fourth homer of the spring in the second inning. Voit continues to hit well, going 10-for-34 and slugging .676 in Grapefruit League action. Though he has been locked in a battle with Greg Bird to be the Yankees' starting first baseman, Aaron Hicks' (shoulder) injury will likely give both Bird and Voit the chance to break camp on the big-league roster.
While manager Aaron Boone has not declared a winner of the first-base job battle, he says he likes the look of Voit in the cleanup spot for the Yankees, Pete Caldera of The Bergen Record reports. He also noted that Voit could be the No. 3 hitter at times. It would be pretty counterintuitive to demote a player at the end of spring training that the manager likes at the third and fourth spots in a loaded lineup, so while there hasn't been any official word on whether Voit or Greg Bird will break camp as the starting first baseman, everything continues to point toward Voit winning this job battle.
Manager Aaron Boone admitted Thursday that Voit and Greg Bird are likely battling for one roster spot this spring, Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reports. "It's tough for me to envision us having two first basemen, especially when I feel like [DJ] LeMahieu would be that guy that gets backup reps there," Boone said. Voit has some limited experience playing the corner outfield, but since he likely ranks as nothing more than an emergency option there, defense doesn't look like it will be a factor in the job battle between him and Bird. Instead, the competition will be decided based on how the two perform at the dish, with Voit's excellence after his late-August callup in 2018 presumably giving him the early edge over Bird, who has disappointed in his opportunities at the big-league level the past three seasons while also struggling with injuries. A healthy Bird has at least made things interesting this spring with a .400 average and four extra-base hits through his first seven contests, so Voit may need to keep pace to emerge as the victor. He's been able to do that so far, sporting a .308 average of his own with two home runs entering play Thursday.
Voit went 2-for-3 with a home run and four RBI in Sunday's Grapefruit League win over the Rays. Greg Bird had two hits Saturday, including a double. Voit responded with his first long ball of the spring Sunday, a fourth-inning blast off right-hander Ryne Stanek. The Yankees have said publicly that this is Voit's job to lose.
Voit will be the Yankees' starter at first base unless Greg Bird beats him out, Jack Curry of YES Network reports. Going purely off the two players' prospect hype, it may have made sense for the Yankees to give Bird one more shot, but the team's decision is certainly in line with the pair's recent performance. Bird hit just .199/.286/.386 in 82 games last year and hasn't posted an above-average batting line since 2015. Voit hit an incredible .333/.405/.689 in 39 games after heading to the Yankees last season. That line was well above expectations, but he can fall quite far and still outperform Bird this season.
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