Aaron Boone knows how bad Luke Voit looks when he runs.
But he insisted that the first baseman, hobbled much of the season by what he and the club have cryptically called "a foot issue," is doing much better than it looks.
"I know everyone sees the hobble, but he’s actually moving well," Boone said before the Yankees closed out the regular season with a 5-0 loss to the Marlins at the Stadium. "We don’t think the foot is something that’s really limiting him other than when he limps around on a homer or slows down a little bit.''
And so, Boone said, keeping Voit off his feet had nothing to do with using him as the DH on Sunday. When the playoffs start Tuesday, the plan is for Voit — who led the majors with 22 home runs this season and hands down was the Yankees’ offensive MVP — to be at first base.
Voit, who had 52 RBIs in 56 games played, certainly has not appeared limited at all at the plate. "He’s moving better, actually, than he was a couple of weeks ago," Boone said.
LeMahieu wins batting title
DJ LeMahieu, who went 2-for-3 in coasting to the American League (and MLB) batting title at .364, became the second player in big-league history (Hall of Famer Ed Delahanty, who did it in 1902, is the other) and the first in the modern era to win a batting title in each league. LeMahieu, then with the Rockies, won the National League batting crown in 2016, hitting .348.
He became the fourth Yankee to lead MLB in batting average, joining Mickey Mantle (1956), Joe DiMaggio (1939) and Lou Gehrig (1934).
LeMahieu and Voit are the first pair of teammates to lead MLB in batting average and homers since Hank Aaron (.355) and Eddie Mathews (46 homers) did so for Milwaukee in 1959.
Rookie prospect Clarke Schmidt, hoping to secure a postseason roster spot, likely didn’t show enough Sunday in his first big-league start to do so. The 24-year-old righthander, one of the club’s top pitching prospects, allowed three runs and four hits in four innings against the Marlins and had a 7.71 ERA in two relief appearances this season.
Ups and downs
In going 33-27 this season, the Yankees were nothing if not streaky, compiling consecutive stretches of 16-6, 5-15, 10-0 and 2-6.