Voit 'ready to go'; Urshela eyes Opening Day

February 3rd, 2021

TAMPA, Fla. -- is taking nicely to his adopted hometown, sporting a fresh suntan while regularly tuning his car radio to the local sports talk stations, which have featured wall-to-wall Buccaneers coverage in advance of this weekend’s Super Bowl.

The Major Leagues’ reigning home run leader plans to root for the home team for those four quarters, then shift his focus back to his own championship aspirations. Voit has been among the earliest arriving Yankees in Tampa, having worked out alongside Aaron Judge, Gary Sánchez and others.

“We’ve got a nice little group,” said Voit, who was honored virtually on Tuesday as a Thurman Munson Award recipient. “I’m making sure that our first game during Spring Training, I’m ready to go. I just want to feel good going into Spring Training and then let it rock and roll once the season starts.”

The Munson Awards pay homage to the late Yankees captain, whose life was tragically cut short by a plane crash on Aug. 2, 1979. Since its inception, the program has raised more than $17 million to benefit the AHRC NYC Foundation. The not-for-profit organization supports programs enabling children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Voit, who turns 30 on Feb. 13, is coming off a massively productive year in which he batted .277/.338/.610 with 22 home runs and 52 RBIs in 56 games, posting a 156 OPS+. Voit achieved those numbers despite battling plantar fasciitis, saying that he is fully recovered following treatment in October.

"It’s been great; I’ve had no problems,” Voit said. “I’ve been running bases and stuff already in spikes, so I’m ready to go.”

Pitchers Michael King, Nick Nelson and Luis Severino are among the other early arrivals at the Yankees complex, according to Voit.

Also working out in Florida is third baseman , who was also honored as a Munson Award winner on Tuesday. Urshela said that he is recovering well following October surgery to remove a bone spur from his throwing elbow.

“It feels really good right now,” Urshela said. “I’ve been working a lot, trying to get the elbow healthy. Right now, I’m hitting and throwing. I don’t know if I’ll be ready for the start of Spring Training, to start on time, but it looks like I’ll be ready for Opening Day.”


Urshela will especially be looking forward to participating in the Subway Series following the Mets’ acquisition of shortstop Francisco Lindor, one of Urshela’s closest friends in baseball. The one-time Cleveland teammates kept in shape by riding bicycles together frequently during the shutdown last spring.

“This is going to be a really fun year for us,” Urshela said. “He’s playing for the Mets, but we’re going to stay in the same city. I’m really happy for him in this journey. We talk a lot, almost every day, and he’s happy to play for New York. He’s helped me a lot in my career, training with him the last couple of years. I’ve seen a big difference. I’m really grateful.”

Voit said that it took him “a while” to get over the Yankees’ loss in the American League Division Series last autumn, and he sees a team ready to avenge that exit.

Urshela and Voit were buoyed by the return of infielder DJ LeMahieu, who signed a six-year, $90 million contract in January, and are optimistic about the acquisitions of starting pitchers Corey Kluber and Jameson Taillon.

“We’ve got The Machine back, so life is good,” Voit said of LeMahieu. “He’s a great teammate, a great leader. I’m really stoked to have him back. It’s great that we get to have him hopefully in New York for the rest of his career. It was key getting him back, along with all the other moves as well. It’s been a good offseason.”