With Opening Day just a few weeks away, the New York Yankees are certainly trying to avoid any injury issues. The infield is currently undergoing a few significant changes, notably at the shortstop position.
Rookie Oswald Peraza has a slight advantage to win the job, despite Anthony Volpe putting forth his best foot this spring. Volpe has gotten the majority of reps compared to Peraza, who has enjoyed just nine at-bats, tallying two hits and two runs.
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However, Peraza is reportedly dealing with a minor foot injury but expects to be back in the lineup on Thursday, which is certainly good news.
Oswald Peraza is expected back in the lineup on Thursday, I’m told. Dealing with a minor foot injury.Via Chris Kirschner of The Athletic.
The Yankees are working through an infield log jam:
The Yankees currently have Isiah Kiner-Falefa fighting it out for the shortstop job as well, but the best-case scenario is that Peraza wins it outright and justifies getting the first crack during the regular season. Volpe is still expected to transition back to Scranton in Triple-A, but he could get called up at some point during the 2023 season, even if it means playing second base.
Peraza has all of the tools to become a quality MLB player but needs consistency. He enjoyed 18 games last year for the Yankees, including a few postseason appearances.
The 22-year-old hit .306 with a 40.4% on-base percentage, including one homer and two RBIs. He posted a 15.8% strikeout rate and a 10.5% walk rate, but those numbers are far above his career averages. He hit .259 with a 33% on-base percentage, posting 19 homers and 50 RBIs, and 99 games with Scranton last year.
Expect his MLB stats to take a nose dive, but more experience should help even out his metrics. At the very least, the Yankees know he will offer Gold Glove level defense on a daily basis, which has been a bit of a vulnerability at shortstop the past few seasons.