Luke Voit was the victim of injury during the 2019 season, though it didn’t, for the most part, keep him out of the lineup. He spent time off and on the disabled list throughout July and didn’t return to the team until August 30th.
There’s definitely an argument to be made that pre and post injury Voit were not the same hitter.
The injury, which began around the London series as an abdominal strain and was eventually diagnosed as a sports hernia, continued throughout the season, eventually requiring surgery, which he described to the Athletic’s Lindsay Adler (subscription only). Voit told Adler that after the season ended, a doctor told him “Dude, you tore everything down there,” and he realized that was because he had tried to play through the injury which only worsened it.
Probably enough has been said about the Yankees medical staff and the way injuries are handled by the team, but I can’t help but wonder whether Voit was playing against the advice of the medical staff or whether the medical staff were unaware that he was making the injury worse.
Either way, Luke Voit after the injury had lost the explosiveness and power at the plate, but with patience at the plate, laying off bad pitches, taking his walks, he still hit the ball hard and in the air, but did not have the success he had in the first half of the season.
Prior the the injury, Joshua Diemert of pinstripe alley.com describes Voit’s season:
Before going down, Voit was having a better season than Gleyber Torres or DJ LeMahieu, boasting a 140 wRC+ in the first half. His plate discipline actually improved over his monster 2018 run, which is always very encouraging to see in a player’s first full season.
He was hitting .280 with .393 OBP, and a .409 slugging percentage with a 140 wRC+ (7th in MLB, 3rd in AL) and fWAR of 1.8 (10th in MLB, 4th in AL).
Voit was having the kind of season Yankees fans are being treated to in Spring Training this year. In 9 games, Voit has hit .296/.345/.444 with one home run and two RBIs. He’s on pace to pick up where he left off last April when he was an offensive juggernaut as Bobby from viewsfrom314ft.com notes:
This includes a torrid April .275/.392/.523 (144 wRC+), during which time he buoyed an injury-plagued Yankees lineup. (Sound familiar?)
Voit is being called upon again to step up and perform at a high level in the absence of injured players, such as Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez, which is exactly what he’s been capable of doing when healthy.
Just a note on the lighter side, look out for Richard Torrey’s new children’s book based on Voit called Luke’s Baseball Story. Voit plans to read the book to children at schools around the Bronx.