The Yankees might have their new shortstop-third base combination

Alexander Wilson
new york yankees, isiah-kiner-falefa
Sep 5, 2022; Bronx, New York, USA; Minnesota Twins third baseman Gio Urshela (15) beats the tag of New York Yankees shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa (12) for a stolen base in the sixth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees escaped by the skin of their teeth on Wednesday in the first game of the doubleheader against the Minnesota Twins.

Taking it to the bottom of the 12th inning, the Yankees scraped by 5–4, courtesy of an Aaron Judge solo homer in the bottom of the 4th, a Gleyber Torres homer in the bottom of the 6th, and two runs in the 12th.

The Yankees got a ton of value from their new third base and shortstop combination, consisting of Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Oswald Peraza. IKF featured on the hot corner, a position he won a Gold Glove at several years ago before making the transition full-time to shortstop.

The Yankees might have something with IKF and Peraza:

This was the first game of the season that IKF played on the hot corner, showcasing solid defensive quality and recording two hits, including an RBI single in the 12th inning to tie the game at four. In the end, he ended up scoring on an Oswaldo Cabrera single to shallow left-center, the first walk-off of the rookie’s career.

On the season, Kiner-Falefa features a .267 average with a 31% on-base rate, two homers, and 39 RBIs. He’s stolen 15 bases, tallying another to get himself in scoring position to finish the game on Wednesday.

However, rookie shortstop Oswald Peraza stood out the most, getting on base four times over five at-bats. He tallied a double and two singles, reaching on an E-5 in the 10th inning, helping to load the bases.

Peraza has been sharp at SS over a small sample size — that is his traditional position and deserves more reps with Josh Donaldson on paternity leave.

That will ultimately force IKF to third for the next few games, but if the combination continues to thrive, manager Aaron Boone shouldn’t be so quick to interrupt their flow.