ROCHESTER, N.Y. — When Luke Voit joined the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders on Tuesday, he mentioned how excited he was for this new opportunity. Despite the fact he had just left the only organization he ever played for, which just happened to be the team he rooted for growing up, in the St. Louis Cardinals.
He also hoped Sunday’s trade would ultimately lead to a promotion to the New York Yankees.
Well, Voit’s promotion probably came sooner than he expected. The 27-year-old first baseman learned that he’d be heading to the bigs in the middle of Wednesday’s game against the Rochester Red Wings, after just two games with his new team.
The Yankees could use an extra right-handed bat as they embarked on a four-game series in Boston against the Red Sox beginning Thursday night.
“I’ve never played for another organization before, but I’m coming from one historic franchise to, you know, the biggest historic franchise,” Voit said on Tuesday. “It’s cool to come to a winning program. Hopefully I get a shot to put on the pinstripes and go up there and help them do some damage.”
What are the Yankees getting in Voit?
When the first baseman was asked to give a scouting report on himself, he highlighted his ability to hit for power without striking out, despite his large 6-foot-3, 225-pound frame. Voit keeps defenders honest, too, thanks to an ability to drive the ball to all areas of the field.
He also brings a pretty good mitt. In 458 games at first base, between the majors and minors, Voit has committed 48 errors. He has just five this season.
“Um, not fast,” Voit joked. “Usually hit around .300 every year in the minor leagues. I’m not just a big guy that strikes out a lot. I feel like I have a good coverage of the zone and kind of know what my pitches are to hit. I hit the ball to all fields, I have power, I hit a lot of doubles and I can pick it at first base, too.”
When Voit digs into the batter’s box, batting seventh as the designated hitter, at Fenway Park Thursday night, it’ll be his 71st game in the bigs.
Most of those appearances have came as a pinch hitter, playing in the National League. When the Yankees deploy Voit, it will likely come as a designated hitter, like it was Thursday, or pinch hitter. For Voit, this will be nothing new.
“It’s something I learned,” Voit said of the mentality of a pinch hitter. “I guess you can still use it later in games if you want a two-run homer or something like that. So obviously I have to pay attention to that, but it was nice learning from all those guys last year in St. Louis.
“I had some good guys to learn from that put me in the right spot to succeed. I kind of feel like I’m more well-rounded form all of that stuff last year.”
Reach DJ Eberle at 570-991-6398 or on Twitter @ByDJEberle