Yankees’ young utility man quickly falling out of favor for roster spot

MLB: New York Yankees at Kansas City Royals
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees are in a far better situation this spring training compared to their 2023 roster. With the outfield rejuvenated and the starting rotation healthy, the Yankees have far more positives to take away from the early stages ramping up into the regular season.

Peraza’s Challenges and Potential in the Infield

The infield is situated with a blend of young and veteran talent, but with DJ LeMahieu making the transition to third base full-time, the Yankees were hoping that Oswald Peraza would emerge as their primary utility option. Peraza can play three positions, which opens up LeMahieu to move to first base in case of emergency.

Peraza has Gold Glove upside defensively but is still trying to discover his offensive identity. The 23-year-old has played in just one game this spring training, striking out twice and injuring his shoulder, which has kept him out over the past few days. Peraza is still dealing with a pinch, and the Yankees are waiting for him to be able to throw across the infield before revolving him in their plans.

READ MORE: Yankees’ new starting pitcher addition shines in 7-3 loss to Orioles

Vivas’ Emergence and Competition for a Yankees Roster Spot

Alternatively, the Yankees have seen plenty of good results from Jorbet Vivas, a 22-year-old they recently acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Vivas is hitting .286/.500/1.1433 over four games this spring training, mashing two homers with four RBIs. Vivas has the qualities to play both second and third base, so if he continues to shine in spring training, he could steal Peraza’s job, which would be unexpected but not entirely impossible.

Peraza lost the starting shortstop gig to Anthony Volpe last year, so his spring training performances have decided his fate recently. His latest injury certainly sets him back, and Vivas will be looking to make the roster in his absence, especially if he continues to showcase quality offensive tools.

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