Yankees’ young infielder set to begin rehab assignment in Single-A

mlb: new york yankees at pittsburgh pirates, oswald peraza
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Back in Spring Training, the Yankees announced that infielder Oswald Peraza needed to be shut down for 6-8 weeks with a shoulder injury. He was experiencing discomfort making throws across the diamond, and with miserable offensive and defensive numbers, it was clear that this ailment was affecting his play on the field. While the Yankees have gotten some production from Oswaldo Cabrera, they haven’t found a permanent option at third base, and one would assume that Oswald Peraza would have gotten some run there if not for his injury.

Despite being inconsistent and ineffective at the plate, Oswald Peraza’s defensive value and versatility make him a notable name on their depth chart, and he’ll begin his return to regular action with a rehab assignment in Single-A tonight.

Oswald Peraza Set to Begin Rehab Assignment as Announced by Yankees

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at New York Yankees
Sep 22, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees third baseman Oswald Peraza (91) throws the ball to first base for an out during the sixth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Tarpons will pencil in infielder Oswald Peraza as he looks to get his first game action since the injury he suffered in Spring Training. He won’t be the only Yankee down there in Tampa, with Tommy Kahnle expected to join him at the Single-A level on Wednesday when he begins his rehab assignment. Through 70 games at the Major League level, Peraza has a 75 wRC+ and .298 OBP, often struggling to recognize pitches and identify what he should or should not hit.

Some underlying metrics were enticing, as he ranked in the 73rd Percentile in SEAGER (which measures swing decisions) and the 64th Percentile in 90th Percentile Exit Velocity. Still, there are a lot of red flags here as well. He struggled to make contact in-zone and was particularly bad against breaking pitches, and the high exit velocities were rendered ineffective by a high groundball rate.

MLB: New York Yankees at Kansas City Royals, oswald peraza
Oct 1, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Oswald Peraza (91) bats against the Kansas City Royals during the fifth inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Defensively the Yankees are getting an above-average defender at three different positions, but the problem stems from how poor the offensive value is. Gleyber Torres has struggled mightily this year, but it’s not as if Oswald Peraza presents much of an upgrade over him, and he likely won’t make the team as a bench player. Instead, the Yankees would rather him get everyday at-bats in Triple-A, finding himself in a similar situation to Everson Pereira who is blocked by the myriad of outfielders ahead of him on the depth chart.

How the Yankees choose to utilize him remains to be seen, but seeing that he no longer has MiLB options after this season, it’ll be interesting to see if they give the 23-year-old infielder a chance to fight for a job at third base or not given the injury to DJ LeMahieu.

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