The Yankees have a tough infield decision to make for the playoff roster

Alexander Wilson
new york yankees
Sep 21, 2022; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres (25) and left fielder Oswaldo Cabrera (95) and shortstop Oswald Peraza (91) and center fielder Tim Locastro (33) celebrate after defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees are gearing up to unveil their 2022 playoff roster, but they have one big decision to make at the back end of the infield. Depending on the availability of DJ LeMahieu, the Yankees may prefer to have a veteran experience who can feature at multiple positions over a younger alternative, which raises a question.

Deciding between keeping veteran switch hitter Marwin Gonzalez on the roster over rookie Oswald Peraza is a tough one. Gonzalez offers defensive capabilities at nearly every infield spot, but he has struggled considerably this season offensively.

Specifically, Gonzalez hit .185 with a 25.5% on-base rate, including six homers and 18 RBIs across 86 appearances. His 26.1% strikeout rate was certainly a bit high, but Peraza has offered far better metrics in the batter’s box this season, despite a smaller sample size.

Over 18 games, the 22-year-old shortstop hit .306 with a 40.4% on-base rate, including one homer and two RBIs. He struck out at just 15.8% with a 10.5% walk rate. He showcased fantastic patience at the plate, seeming like a veteran despite a small sample of games.

The Yankees need to work around DJ LeMahieu’s health:

If LeMahieu is able to feature in his normal role during the postseason, the Yankees should roll with Peraza, since he offers great defense from the shortstop position behind Isiah Kiner-Falefa. He also experienced a few reps at third base, where he looked comfortable, showing off his youth and strong arm across the diamond.

Ultimately, the only reason manager Aaron Boone would select Gonzalez for the playoff roster is that he has experience in high-level situations and can fill in at multiple spots, including the outfield.

However, with Oswaldo Cabrera performing so well and Peraza’s impeccable offense to start his major league career, the decision seems to be a simple one. Sometimes youth can be more beneficial than veteran presence.