Yankees’ Oswald Peraza returns from injury, promotion still in play

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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

The Yankees finally got a piece of good injury update news today, and it comes at a great time. Oswald Peraza had missed the last handful of games due to a hamstring injury but is back in the lineup tonight. It’s a welcome sight for Raza, who sadly got hurt at the worst possible time. When Donaldson went on the IL, I had expected him to be the one that got the call, but due to the injury, he was unable to. 

As per SWB RailRiders beat writer Conor Foley, “Oswald Peraza is back in the RailRiders lineup tonight. He’s currently out fielding ground balls.” It’s a much-needed boost to the AAA lineup, and I believe that in due time he’ll be back on the MLB roster. He’s far too talented to be stashed down in AAA, and it’s only a matter of time until he’s given the call. 

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The Yankees have an embarrassment of riches at SS:

Though Volpe has started off slow this season, it isn’t the most shocking thing. He’s just 21 years old and has had a slow start at every level of the minors. With that being said, if it continues for too much longer, I imagine the Yanks may consider calling up Oswald Peraza to take some reps at shortstop. Last season, Raza was a stud for the Yankees in his cup of coffee at the MLB level. 

In the 18 games he played with the Yanks, he posted a .832 OPS, a 143 wRC+, and was working walks left and right. When he played, it was a huge spark at the bottom of the lineup, which is what the team is looking for out of Volpe. Volpe will come around in due time, so I’m not sounding the alarm on him just yet. However, Raza has shown he can handle MLB duties, so maybe we see him sooner than later. 

I imagine he’ll continue to rack up ABs with Scranton, though he is a name to keep an eye on for the foreseeable future. It remains unclear what his place on this team may be, and with Gleyber absolutely mashing the baseball, there is no direct spot for him to get consistent playtime at this moment. He’s still one of the most talented players in the system and ranks as the No.2 prospect in the farm. 

Peraza being healthy is a huge benefit for the Yankees, and he could be a factor if Josh Donaldson doesn’t heal up as quickly as the team may anticipate. Raza doesn’t have any experience playing 3B, but with his solid arm and excellent range, it could be a path for him in the future. Getting him reps there seems to be a smart move, but only time will tell how long it takes for him to get the hang of it. 

Over the 24 AB sample size to start this season with the RailRiders, Oswald is batting .292 with a .393 OBP. He isn’t slugging a ton, which could’ve been an indication of the hamstring injury he had. He has five stolen bases and is OPSing .726 early on in the year. It’s a solid start from him, and if he can turn it up a notch, it may be nearly impossible for the Yanks to deny him a spot.