The New York Yankees have many decisions to make for the postseason, but could they consider rostering Mike Ford over Luke Voit?
The New York Yankees have just one game remaining before the playoffs begin next week, and the roster construction will be a major topic of discussion. Given the talent on the roster, there could be some surprises for the ALDS. Could one potentially be Mike Ford over Luke Voit?
On paper, the choice is easy. Voit has been a big bat from the right side since joining the Yankees in a trade midway through the 2018 season. He had another solid season in 2019 but did struggle with some injuries. While he’s seemingly a lock for the postseason roster, there is some discussion that could take place between keeping him and Ford.
Though it is a long shot for Ford to make the roster, he’s shown to have a penchant for big hits. In a righty-heavy lineup, having that from the left side could be crucial coming off the bench. In 159 plate appearances, Ford has 12 home runs, 25 RBIs and a .915 OPS. He recorded a 139 OPS+ and a wRC+ of 136.
One alarming stat that could be a detriment to Voit’s argument is his strikeout rate. Voit struck out on a career-high 27.9% of his plate appearances. While it is a much smaller sample size, Ford has only struck out on 16.7% of his plate appearances. Sometimes it can be trivial, but strikeouts are huge for swinging momentum.
Voit has also been in an ill-timed slump—staring at a 1-for-32 span that includes 13 strikeouts. This could force the Yankees to consider another option for the ALDS. Even manager Aaron Boone said Saturday that Ford is a possibility for the roster.
Boone said Ford is a postseason roster possibility
— Brendan Kuty (@BrendanKutyNJ) September 28, 2019
The Yankees likely wouldn’t be relying on Ford to start games. He’d most likely be a pinch hitter if the Yankees needed potential for power or just a look from the left side.
Another aspect that could give Ford the edge comes on the defensive side of the ball. Though neither Ford or Voit are superb fielders, the metrics favor the former. In his 215 innings at first base, Ford has -1 defensive runs saved (DRS). Conversely, Voit has struggled in his 706.1 innings—recording a -6 DRS. The sample size should be considered, but it is something the Yankees will have to think about.
In reality, it is more likely the Yankees are going with Voit. The chances of Ford replacing him for the ALDS are minimal. However, if the Yankees felt they’d rather have power from the left side coming off the bench without having to sacrifice anything on defense, it’s something that could come to fruition.