TAMPA, Fla. -- Here’s an encouraging thought on what was scheduled to be Opening Day: Once teams receive the all-clear to return to the diamond, Luke Voit believes that he and the Yankees will be able to get ready for the start of the regular season in a short amount
TAMPA, Fla. -- Here’s an encouraging thought on what was scheduled to be Opening Day: Once teams receive the all-clear to return to the diamond, Luke Voit believes that he and the Yankees will be able to get ready for the start of the regular season in a short amount of time.
"I don't think it's as much of a big thing for the hitters,” Voit told YES Network’s Meredith Marakovits. “Hitters need a couple of weeks. I think it's more for our pitchers and starting pitchers to ramp up, get ready for those five or six innings, 100 pitches, and our bullpen guys to get some innings. From a hitting standpoint, I can get all my stuff done off machines in the cages and stuff like that. I think most guys felt ready to go before we got shut down."
Voit had been among several Yankees continuing to work out regularly at George M. Steinbrenner Field, but with Opening Day pushed back at least eight weeks due to the spread of the novel coronavirus, he and his wife, Tori, returned to their home in St. Louis last Thursday. Voit said that he has a gym in his basement, and that, along with projects around the house, has been occupying his time.
• What MLB fans need to know about coronavirus
"Obviously, we have the facility down there [in Tampa], but I got in contact with my trainer back home and he was able to do some stuff for me,” Voit said. “If I needed to go hit, I could go hit at my [offseason] place. It was kind of like, 'Get back home, be safe and be with my family.'"
Yankees players continuing to work out at the Steinbrenner Field complex include: Mike Ford, Clint Frazier, J.A. Happ, Aaron Judge, DJ LeMahieu, Luis Severino, Giancarlo Stanton and Tyler Wade. Voit described the atmosphere inside the nearly empty facility as “weird.”
• Boone discusses player plans, Yanks' injuries
"It was the first time I was wearing batting gloves to work out,” Voit said. “It just wasn't right. We were trying to stay apart from each other. There was only like seven guys there when there should be almost 100 guys, including staff. There was no [prepared] food anymore. I'm hoping everyone stays safe; the social distancing and quarantine is for real and everyone needs to stay inside and do their best that they can do to get this thing away from us."
Voit said that he is continuing to perform his regular workouts to stay in shape, but he has shut down hitting and fielding drills for the moment. He is keeping in touch with his Yankees teammates via a group text message, where the main topic of conversation has been their online Madden PlayStation league -- Ben Heller’s Colts are the defending Super Bowl champions, having bested Tommy Kahnle’s Eagles last week.
"We're in contact every day. It's still fun,” Voit said. “We're still managing to keep our spirits up. Hopefully we get this figured out and we're back on the diamond here soon. All the boys are good, we're staying locked in and when the time comes, we'll be ready to go."
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and Facebook.