Yankees make surprise Oswald Peraza assignment, more moves

oswald peraza, yankees
Feb 19, 2023; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Oswald Peraza (91) winds up during spring training practice at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Following today’s game in Tampa, the Yankees made a few more roster moves. Sadly, the Volpe call-up and announcement that he’ll be the starting shortstop comes at the expense of Oswald Peraza. Raza is the Yanks’ No.2 ranked prospect in the system but will begin the year in AAA Scranton. He was called up last season and hit the cover off the ball, Volpe just outperformed him this spring and did enough to win the job. 

The Yankees also announced that Matt Krook will be going down to Triple-A as well, seemingly clearing the way for Greg Weissert to take home the final bullpen spot. Krook had a great spring, and I had thought he’d done enough to get a spot, especially considering he’s a lefty and the team only has one lefty in Wandy in the pen. However, with the nature of baseball, I imagine he’ll factor in one way or another this season. 

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Peraza will be back with the Yankees in no time:

Peraza getting sent down will hopefully light a fire inside rather than kill his confidence. He has all the talent to be on the roster, it just came down to logistics not matching up. There’s still a chance that the Yankees make a move before OD, though those odds are continuing to dip. With IKF now being utilized in a utility role, it wouldn’t make much sense for Raza to be there and sit on the bench majority of the week. 

At AAA he’ll get more reps and consistent ABs and be used all over the infield. I suspect the Yanks will use him at 3B as well to potentially get him comfortable over there. Josh Donaldson’s new batting stance and approach have me starting to believe in a comeback season for the former MVP, but if it’s not the case, Peraza could be back up in no time. 

The Yankees also are electing to ride with Gleyber Torres to start the year, and after an offseason filled with trade rumors left-and-right, his spot is secured for the time being. It is the right move to hang on to Gleyber, as he is still certainly one of the better second basemen in the league. He’s got two years of control (counting ‘23), and there is still a chance that the Yanks look to extend him and keep him around for the foreseeable future. 

Peraza getting sent down isn’t the end of the world, it just is the brutality of the sport. With the good, there always will be the bad. However, it does suck for the kid. In the 18 games he played at the MLB level last season, he was excellent. He OPS’d .832, hit 4 XBH and posted a very impressive 146 wRC+. There’s not much left for him to prove, especially in AAA, so I truly believe that the Yanks will call him back up in no time. 

Matt Krook did well and will be featured at some point this season:

There are just too many cooks in the kitchen at this point, but things change as the season goes on. As for Krook, as mentioned, he’ll likely see time at the MLB level, regardless of this move. He’s a good lefty reliever with an excellent sinker, and I feel like the Yankees will want to utilize that at some point this season. He tossed 12.0 innings of 3.75 ERA ball this spring and struck out 15 guys in the process. 

The Yanks’ depth will be tested early on with numerous guys across the table nursing injuries. Their rotation will likely feature Jhony Brito, as the 25-year-old put on an absolute clinic today, tossing 5.1 innings of perfect baseball. He’ll be joined by Clarke Schmidt and Domingo German, who are both guarantees due to injuries. 

It’ll be a wild start to the season, and hopefully, Volpe is able to get off to a fast start and get the fans behind him. I imagine that Peraza will tear it up in Scranton and force the Yankees’ hand early on in the year. Having talented depth waiting for a chance is never a bad thing, it just comes at the expense of having to send down said talent. Peraza is ready for the show, and he’ll get to show it soon.