BALTIMORE — Luke Voit ran outside on Monday for the first time since undergoing surgery to repair a partially torn meniscus in his left knee last month and the Yankees hope his return to the majors is not far off.
Although Aaron Boone isn’t sure when Voit will start taking live at-bats at the alternate site in Scranton, he’s doing just about everything else. With the minor league season beginning a week from Tuesday, Voit will be able to get some plate appearances to get his timing back before getting back to the Yankees.
Without Voit, they’ve used a combination of DJ LeMahieu and Mike Ford at first since the retirement of Jay Bruce.
Even Miguel Andujar, activated off the IL on Sunday, will get some work at first base in Scranton.
Andujar had been out with right wrist carpal tunnel syndrome since March and he’ll continue to “bounce around” defensively, according to Boone. He is scheduled to play first, third and left field, a role he never got comfortable with a year ago.
But with Gio Urshela continuing to be healthy at third base after offseason elbow surgery, it may be Andujar’s only path back to the majors.
As for Ford, he homered for the first time on Sunday in Cleveland and despite not putting up good numbers, said his swing feels “great.”
“I’m back to 2019 Mike, not 2020 Mike, which was not good,’’ Ford said. “I’m not worried about results right now.’’
Ford lost about 20 pounds in the offseason following a dreadful 2020 season, but has yet to rediscover the production he had at the plate two years ago.
“I’m enjoying being here, as long as that is,’’ Ford said. “I struggled last year mentally. I had a lot of opportunities to show what I can do and I didn’t really do that.”
Clint Frazier started against a right-hander on Monday, with Baltimore’s Matt Harvey on the mound and the outfielder entered the series stuck in a 2-for-36 slump.
“He definitely struggled there for a couple weeks,’’ Boone said. “I thought he had some really strong at-bats [Sunday]. … I do see some progress with him.”
Boone pointed again to Frazier’s “really good strike-zone knowledge. He’s not a guy that chases a lot. He has tremendous bat speed. He’s very strong. He’s a strong, strong dude. For him, it’s about having a game plan and understanding what teams and pitchers are trying to do. Make sure you get off your ‘A’ swing and be in position to do that.”
Aaron Hicks was back in the lineup Monday after sitting Sunday with back tightness. Hicks has been largely unproductive from the left side of the plate and was bumped to seventh in the order.
Since returning from Scranton, Ford has also been sporting a mustache.“We did it as a joke at the alternate site,’’ he said. “The first guy called up was definitely gonna shave it. When I got up I said, ‘I’m not gonna shave it. I think we’re 4-2 with it [going into Monday]. I’ll keep riding with it and see where it goes.”