Yankees' Luke Voit Thought He Had a Broken Jaw When Hit by Chad Bettis' Pitch

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJuly 21, 2019

New York Yankees' Luke Voit reacts after being hit with a pitch during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies Saturday, July 20, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

New York Yankees first baseman Luke Voit was hit in the face by a pitch from Colorado Rockies pitcher Chad Bettis on Saturday, and he thought the impact had broken his jaw.

"I thought broken jaw. My teeth were going to be all scattered everywhere," Voit said Sunday, per the Associated Press (via ESPN.com). "I grabbed my face. So I was like, 'Uh-oh.' ... But then, it wasn't as bad as I thought. Just a scary thing."

Instead, Voit woke up Sunday with a sore jaw and a cut on his chin, but only slight swelling after icing the area and no concussion. He was back in the lineup Sunday.

Voit escaped a more serious injury due to the ball grazing his shoulder before striking his face, slowing it just enough to give the Yankees first baseman time to slightly turn his head.

"I dodged a bullet, got lucky," he said.

He even finished the inning:

The Yankees did remove him in the top of the fifth for precautionary reasons, however.

"It doesn’t surprise me [that Voit finished the inning]. I don't think it surprises you guys either," Austin Romine said to reporters after the game, per Mollie Walker of the New York Post. "If you know Luke, he's going to play the game. The guy is like a bull out there. Just very happy it wasn't worse than it was; that was some dangerous stuff going on up by the face. I think he kind of dodged a bullet there not getting it too bad."

For a Yankees team that has been beset by multiple injuries all season, losing Voit for an extended period would have been a major blow. Giancarlo Stanton, Cameron Maybin, Dellin Betances and Luis Severino are all on the injured list, while Aaron Judge and Didi Gregorius—among others—have missed time this year as well.

The 28-year-old Voit is in the midst of a career year, hitting .275 with career highs in homers (18), RBI (52) and runs (56). His .884 OPS is fourth on the Yankees, trailing only those of Judge (.970), Maybin (.891) and DJ LeMahieu (.889).

Losing him not only would have cost the Yankees a valuable source of pop in their lineup, but it also would have moved LeMahieu back to first base and Gio Urshela into the starting role at third. For a team that has shuffled players in and out of the lineup all year, it would have been par for the course. 

But Voit, and the Yankees, avoided the worst. 


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