Before I start, let me make two things abundantly clear:
- I’m not saying Luke Voit is better than Anthony Rizzo
- I’m not saying Rizzo should be benched for Voit
Got it? Okay, good. Here’s the deal.
Voit is swinging a hot bat right now. Over the last week, he’s hit .280 with 2 HR, 7 RBI & a .877 OPS.
Rizzo comes back extremely soon (possibly tonight?) He’s an elite first baseman who instantly makes the team better on both sides of the ball. The Yankee lineup will be at its absolute best with both of these guys in there. Voit said last night he feels he deserves to play:
This is awesome.
— 4 Train Savages (@FourSavages) August 18, 2021
I love this answer. I saw a lot of people complaining saying it comes off as Voit saying he’s better than Rizzo. That’s not at all the vibe I got from Voit.
He’s frustrated that his season hasn’t gone as planned due to injuries. Voit has been a major offensive contributor on this team since 2018. He just watched the Yankees trade for his replacement. Why would I want a guy who just rolls over and is okay with that? Sure, he could’ve given a more politically correct, “I just wanna help the team” answer. But Voit is a passionate guy. It’s clear he’ll do whatever it takes to help the team, he doesn’t need to say that.
I’m ecstatic the Yankees traded for Rizzo. He’s going to play every day once he returns. Everyone knows that, Voit included. But I’m stoked that his arrival has Voit playing with a chip on his shoulder. And here’s the best part: there’s room for both of them!
How to play both Rizzo & Voit
Giancarlo Stanton said he believes the team is at its best with him in the outfield. It would lead to more playing time for Luke Voit once Anthony Rizzo returns.
“That’s where me being in the OF comes into play.”
— Justin Shackil (@JustinShackil) August 18, 2021
Stanton isn’t going to be playing the outfield every single game, which means Voit won’t be playing every game. I totally get that. But Stanton in the OF allows Voit to get a few DH starts a week. When Voit doesn’t start, he can be deployed as a pinch hitter late in games for Brett Gardner, Jonathan Davis, or whoever else starts in center field.
Luke Voit is a damn good hitter who has produced for this team for years. He saw his job get taken and is frustrated by that, as he should be. Instead of shutting down and acting pissed off, he’s playing pissed off & helping his team. I absolutely love this guy & can’t wait to see him and Rizzo in the lineup together.
What’s your take on the Voit/Rizzo situation? Comment below or tweet me @ncostanzo24