Could the Yankees promote shunned infielder to take over at third base?

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Oct 20, 2022; Houston, Texas, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Oswald Peraza (91) throws to first base on a ground out by Houston Astros center fielder Chas McCormick (20) during the seventh inning in game two of the ALCS for the 2022 MLB Playoffs at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees may finally have sufficient reason to promote the promising infielder Oswald Peraza, who has been underutilized at the Triple-A level this season, while veterans like Josh Donaldson have been struggling in the majors.

Donaldson’s Injury Could Open the Door for Peraza

Donaldson, the 37-year-old veteran, sustained a calf injury on Saturday night during a game against the Colorado Rockies. This prompted an MRI that may result in him landing on the injured list. Should this occur, Peraza appears to be the prime candidate for a chance at third base, given his strong performance with Scranton and the lackluster alternatives available to the Yankees.

The Role of DJ LeMahieu in Donaldson’s Absence

The Yankees might consider turning to DJ LeMahieu as their main third baseman going forward. LeMahieu has displayed signs of a positive shift post-All-Star break, delivering two multi-hit games. His stats currently stand at a .232 average with a .294 OBP, inclusive of seven home runs, 27 RBIs, a 22.7% strikeout rate, and a 7.7% walk rate. On the defensive end, he has clocked 446.1 innings at the hot corner this season, with a .992 fielding percentage, two defensive runs saved, and two outs above average.

Peraza’s Potential Promotion to the Yankees

Filling the roster spot potentially vacated by Donaldson is a task the Yankees will face. Peraza, at 23 years old, has been patiently waiting for a chance to compete at the majors. His stats this season include a .261 average, a .352 OBP, a .495 slugging percentage, with 12 home runs, 20 RBIs, 11 stolen bases, and a 108 wRC+. Peraza’s offensive performance this season indicates his readiness for another shot at the big league level.

The Trade Value Dilemma

There’s a valid argument that General Manager Brian Cashman may decide to keep Peraza at the Triple-A level in order to preserve his final minor-league option. This could potentially increase his trade value for a team interested in acquiring him.

However, given the Yankees’ inexplicable reluctance to promote him despite underperformance from other players, teams may suspect a decrease in Peraza’s value. This is an important consideration, particularly as the Yankees grapple with subpar performances from their regular lineup.