Yankees' Luke Voit Nearing Return After Big Night in Scranton

Author:
Publish date:

He's baaaack.

Well, almost. 

New York Yankees slugger Luke Voit played in his first rehab game for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders on Tuesday night and had a promising performance at the dish.

Voit, coming off left knee surgery to repair a partially torn meniscus, led off for the RailRiders on Opening Day of the minor league season. On the first pitch of the night, he crushed the offering from Syracuse Mets starter Jerad Eickhoff off the wall in center field for a booming double.

That's not all. Voit passed a huge test in his second at-bat, sprinting to first base to beat out an infield single. That's an encouraging sign for both Voit and the Yankees as his knee appears to be healthy. 

Overall, the 30-year-old finished 2-for-3 with a walk in the RailRiders' opening night victory over Syracuse.

"He forced himself to have to run," said RailRiders manager Doug Davis. "His legs held up great. He said he felt great and I thought he took some real good swings."

If all goes according to plan, the Yankees could be getting Voit back as early as next Tuesday for the beginning of their series in Tampa Bay, as part of a three-city road trip.

New York has Voit scheduled to stick around for the entirety of Scranton's six-game series with Syracuse, which goes until Sunday. The first baseman is expected to play six innings at first base on Wednesday night before getting the day off on Thursday. He'll then have to work his way to playing nine innings and back-to-back games before rejoining the big-league club.

The Bronx Bombers are starting to gain their footing offensively after a slow start to the season. The addition of Voit will be a major upgrade over an ice-cold Mike Ford, who is hitting a mere .115 with a .604 OPS.

The timing has the potential to work out in the Yankees' favor as well. The Yankees could be losing infielder Rougned Odor to injury after a collision at the plate with catcher Martín Maldonado in Tuesday night's 7-3 victory over the Houston Astros. 

Odor has seen time at second base, while DJ LeMahieu has slid over to first base in Voit's absence.

Plugging Voit's bat into a lineup that's already heating up will only bolster this group offensively, solidifying them as a force in the American League. 

MORE:

Follow Pat Ragazzo on Twitter (@ragazzoreport). Be sure to bookmark Inside The Pinstripes and check back daily for news, analysis and more.