New York Yankees first baseman Luke Voit isn’t ready to concede his place in the starting lineup to Anthony Rizzo when the three-time All-Star returns from the COVID-19 injured list. And he made it clear in a chat with reporters on Tuesday.
Voit struggled with knee inflammation at various points this season and landed on the injured list three times. But the 30-year-old player managed to return to action around the time Rizzo was placed on the COVID list and perform really well since. He is batting .243 with three home runs and nine RBIs in the last 10 games.
“I’m not going down. I want to play,” said Voit. “Obviously, I know it will be tough with Rizzo, but I deserve to play just as much as he does. I led the league in home runs last year. I feel really good again.”
The Yankees acquired Rizzo from the Chicago Cubs at the trade deadline mostly because Voit couldn’t stay healthy and had issues with his form. But now, they’re facing a tough choice once both players are ready to go.
One option for manager Aaron Boone is to move Giancarlo Stanton to the outfield. In this case, Rizzo would return to first base while Voit would take the designated hitter spot. Boone himself declined to detail how he will manage Rizzo and Voit.
“We’re day by day,” said Boone when asked about it.
Rizzo, who has a .281 batting average with three homers and six RBIs since joining Yankees, is expected to return to action “in the next few days.”