The New York Yankees defeated the Angels last night 7-4 to snap their three-game losing streak. One player who really didn’t do much to contribute to that victory is shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa. Well, IKF did what he’s done basically all season long.
Made a couple of short throws that Rizzo picked out and went 1-4 with a single. IKF is now batting .263 on the season with an OBP of .312. His slugging percentage is a horrific .317, which gives him an OPS of .629. The major league average for OPS is .707 for qualified hitters.
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IKF’s OPS+, which reflects how he compares to the rest of the league, is a terrible 82. Here’s the reality, whether it’s offensively or defensively, IKF is a below-average shortstop, and he’s getting meaningful playing time for the Yankees during a playoff push.
What’s maddening about the entire situation is the fact that New York has a star shortstop at AAA who carries a ton of pop in his bat, and he’s miles ahead in terms of his defense. To this point, New York has stuck with IKF despite his below-average numbers across the board. However, enough is enough, it’s time to move on.
Yankees need to call up Peraza
Oswald Peraza is being wasted currently in Triple-A. It almost feels like every night, Yankees fans are hit with highlights of Peraza shining on both sides of the ball in Triple-A. My favorite thing is when we get to see how much pop Peraza has in his bat.
You can again see my take on the situation based on the commentary I provided. While it sounds extreme, I truly believe what I said. IKF could get 100 juiced meatballs right down the middle and couldn’t hit a ball that hard. He just doesn’t have the pop in his bat.
That’s not his fault, it is what it is. However, the Yankees don’t owe him anything. They need to put the best players on the field, and they aren’t doing that. Yes, we haven’t seen Oswald Peraza in the majors yet. However, I would be willing to bet my house that he’d be better than IKF.
We’ve seen what a shot in the arm the youth can be. Oswaldo Cabrera has played everyday since coming up. That’s not the Yankees just giving him playing time, he’s earned it. Sure, he’s made a couple of mistakes, but his energy is infectious, and it’s something this team needs.
There’s nothing about IKF that gets people excited. He doesn’t light any fires, and he doesn’t move the needle in a positive direction whatsoever. Is he a fine player? Sure, he’s an okay baseball player. However, with the Yanks having a shot at a World Series this year, they need the best possible players on the field. With IKF continuing to play, we can’t say they are playing the best they have.