Yankees lose Luke Voit to injured list as team tries to secure wild-card spot in final days

Written by on September 30, 2021

The New York Yankees will conclude a pivotal series against the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday night. When they do, they’ll have to go at it without first baseman Luke Voit. That’s because the Yankees announced ahead of the game that they had placed Voit on the injured list with left knee inflammation. In a corresponding move, the Yankees recalled right-handed reliever Albert Abreu from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Voit, 30 years old, has had his availability greatly restricted this season by various injuries. He’ll finish the season having appeared in just 68 regular season contests, in which he batted .239/.328/.437 (109 OPS+) with 11 home runs. This marks Voit’s fourth trip to the injured list this season.

The Yankees took out an insurance policy of sorts on Voit at the deadline when they traded for Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo. Rizzo has hit .252/.342/.409 (107 OPS+) since arriving in the Bronx. The Yankees will have a decision to make at season’s end on whether to attempt to re-sign Rizzo, an impending free agent, or to roll with Voit (or another option) as their Plan A at first base heading into 2022.

The Yankees will enter Thursday’s game with a 90-68 record on the season, good enough to give them a one-game lead over the Boston Red Sox for the American League’s top wild card spot. The Yankees also possess a 1 1/2 game lead over the Seattle Mariners and a two-game lead over the Blue Jays.

By virtue of playing the Blue Jays, the Yankees are certain to see that lead either expand or contract. If the Yankees win, they could enter the season’s final series with a maximum two-game lead for Wild Card Game hosting privileges and 2 1/2 game lead for the AL’s final playoff spot. A loss, however, could leave them tied for home-field advantage and just 1/2 game up on the last playoff spot.

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