LAKELAND, Fla. — Luke Voit called winning the home run title a year ago “awesome.”
But he acknowledged that because it came in a shortened season, some might be skeptical if he can do it over a full year.
“Obviously, everybody has speculation I can’t do it again,” Voit said Friday. “I’ve got to prove everybody wrong. I’m not saying I’m gonna try to hit 100 home runs. I’ve also got to stay within myself and get the job done when I need to.”
He also has to stay healthy.
Voit woke up with a swollen left knee earlier this week, which caused him to be scratched from a game on Tuesday. He returned to action Thursday and looked like he might have aggravated the injury on a slide into third base, but Voit said he actually just cut up his right knee because his knee pad “slid up” on him.
He admitted he needed to be smart about remaining on the field. Manager Aaron Boone added “sometimes on the bases, he literally thinks he’s going 900 mph when he’s going much slower. We do remind him to make sure he’s making solid choices on the bases. … He’s done a good job with that.”
Boone and Voit are among the Yankees hesitant to see the rules changes being implemented this season in the minors — including reducing the shifts being used and making the bases larger — used in the majors.
“I get it, they’re trying to change the game,’’ Voit said. “With [reducing shifting] and just playing reg defense, in my opinion, you’ve got to adapt in this game. And if you don’t adapt, you find your way out of it. … A lot of guys get content and find their way out of the game. [The shift] works for a lot of teams.”
Boone said the sport should be cautious when it comes to potential changes.
“I always say, ‘Careful with that,’ ” Boone said. “We’re kind of chasing utopia and what we think is our idea of a great thing. It’s important you’re careful with those things.”
The Yankees made a series of minor league roster moves: OF Estevan Florial was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. RHP Luis Gil was optioned to Double-A Somerset. RHP Luis Medina and Alexander Vizcaino and SS Oswald Peraza were optioned to High-A Hudson Valley. RHP Yoendrys Gomez was optioned to Low-A Tampa. The team also assigned several to minor league camp, including C Austin Wells and RHP Adam Warren.