New York Yankees first baseman Luke Voit will undergo surgery for a partial meniscus tear in his right knee, manager Aaron Boone told reporters Saturday afternoon. Voit had been battling soreness in his right knee throughout the entirety of spring training, but it wasn't until after he had an MRI on Friday that revealed the full extent of his knee injury.
The Yankees will be without their starting first baseman for at least three weeks as Voit will be shut down from participating in baseball activities following the procedure. It's not yet clear when he'll be ready to return to game action, but the Yankees are going to have to at least play the first month without Voit, who led the league in home runs (22) during last year's abbreviated 60-game season. According to MLB.com's Bryan Hoch, Boone said that Voit is expected to return "considerably sooner than June."
Voit, 30, played with plantar fasciitis at the end of the 2020 season, but managed to still be productive at the plate, hitting .277/.338/.610 with a league-leading 22 home runs and 52 RBI in 56 games. He received a platelet-rich plasma injection in his foot in November to treat the plantar fasciitis. The Yankees and Voit reached a one-year, $4.7 million deal in January to avoid arbitration.
The Yankees will turn to Jay Bruce -- the non-roster invite who made the Opening Day roster -- to serve as the team's starting first baseman in Voit's absence, Boone confirmed Saturday. Bruce exercised his opt-out on Thursday, but the Yankees had 48 hours to make a final decision regarding a roster spot for him.
Prior to today’s game, the Yankees:— New York Yankees (@Yankees) March 27, 2021
•Released C Robinson Chirinos & INF Derek Dietrich from their minor league contracts
•Signed 1B/OF Jay Bruce to a Major League contract & selected him to the 40-man roster
•Placed RHP Clarke Schmidt on the 60-day IL w/ a right elbow strain
Bruce, a 33-year-old left-handed hitter, has proven he can hit for power, but his overall production and on-base value is a big step down from Voit. The Yankees will also have Tyler Wade and Mike Tauchman as options to help out for the first-base duties.
The health of the Yankees lineup has been a concern the last few years, and figured to be an important X-factor in whether or not the Yankees are able to end their 11-year long World Series title drought in 2021.