Luke Voit, the Yankees’ first baseman and last season’s major league home champion, will miss at least the first month of the season that he has to undergo knee surgery.
Voit, who has dealt with knee pain throughout spring training, will have the partially torn meniscus in his left knee repaired in New York next week, manager Aaron Boone said on Saturday.
Jay Bruce, who waited at home for the Yankees to decide if they still wanted him, will become the team’s first baseman, Boone said. Bruce, 33, a former three-time All-Star, had exercised the opt-out clause in his minor league contract on Thursday, which opened a 48-hour window for the Yankees to get him into the major league list record or share with him.
“I literally knew nothing until recently,” said Bruce, who received the news early Saturday morning. “I was just sitting in my house. I felt like I was in quarantine. “
Voit, 30, had been able to survive the knee injury, but it swelled repeatedly after the games, Boone said. Voit, who completed 22 home races with 60 games during the 2020 season shortened by the pandemic and helped get the Yankees into the playoffs, had an MRI scan on Friday and opted for surgery for continued rehabilitation.
“It felt like a calendar, like it was best to get this over with and take care of it and hopefully leave it behind for most of the season,” Boone said.
Voit will shut down for three weeks and then boot up for a return. Boone said he expected Voit “much earlier” than in June.
In the meantime, backup outfielder Mike Tauchman, who started the season or had to be traded, will also be on the Yankees at the end of spring training.
Bruce, who scored .198 in 32 games with the Philadelphia Phillies last season with a .721 on-base plus slugging percentage, took the opportunity by signing a minor league deal with the Yankees that winter.
Bruce, primarily a corner outfielder who has completed 318 home runs in his career, began mixing more first base duty during his tenure with the Mets, which spanned portions of 2016-2018. out clause to avoid injury and while waiting for the Yankees’ decision.
Although Bruce was stressed out about what was going to happen, he said he was happy to be staying with the club he wanted to be with all the time.
“There was definitely some relief when I made the team,” he said. “And clearly disappointed that Luke went down and is busy with what he’s got to do. But I am sure that he will be back here in full strength soon. “