Luke Voit wants to participate in Home Run Derby

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MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports that Yankees first baseman Luke Voit wants to participate in the 2019 Home Run Derby. Voit has already selected his pitcher.

Voit, 28, has been a heck of a find for the Yankees. After hitting just five home runs in 137 plate appearances (27.4 PA per HR) with the Cardinals, Voit has hit 29 in 425 PA (14.7 PA per HR) across parts of two seasons as a Yankee. He’s hitting .263/.379/.500 this season with 15 home runs and 41 RBI. Among American League first basemen, only Edwin Encarnación (20) and José Abreu (16) have homered more than Voit.

MLB increased the prize pool for the Home Run Derby to $2.5 million from $750,000, as the Associated Press reported in April. The winner earns $1 million with the runner-up getting $500,000. The six other participants receive $150,000.

The Home Run Derby will be held at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio on Monday, July 8 as part of the All-Star Game festivities. Bryce Harper won last year’s Home Run Derby at Nationals Park, then his home ballpark, narrowly defeating Kyle Schwarber.

Aaron Judge out of Yankees starting lineup for finale after No. 62

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ARLINGTON, Texas — Yankees slugger Aaron Judge wasn’t in the starting lineup for New York’s regular-season finale, a day after his 62nd home run that broke Roger Maris’ 61-year-old American League single-season record.

When Judge homered in the first inning Tuesday night, in the second game of a doubleheader against the Texas Rangers, it was his 55th consecutive game. He has played in 157 games overall for the AL East champions.

With the first-round bye in the playoffs, the Yankees won’t open postseason play until the AL Division Series starts next Tuesday.

Even though Judge had indicated that he hoped to play Wednesday, manager Aaron Boone said after Tuesday night’s game that they would have a conversation and see what made the most sense.

“Short conversation,” Boone said before Wednesday’s game, adding that he was “pretty set on probably giving him the day today.”

Asked if there was a scenario in which Judge would pinch hit, Boone responded, “I hope not.”

Judge went into the final day of the regular season batting .311, trailing American League batting average leader Minnesota’s Luis Arraez, who was hitting .315. Judge was a wide leader in the other Triple Crown categories, with his 62 homers and 131 RBIs.

Boone said that “probably the one temptation” to play Judge had been the long shot chance the slugger had to become the first AL Triple Crown winner since Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera in 2012.