Yankees infielder sidelined with tight shoulder, according to Aaron Boone

MLB: New York Yankees at Kansas City Royals, oswald peraza
Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Oswald Peraza was supposed to start in today’s contest according to Aaron Boone, but the Yankees would have to scratch him as he’s dealing with a tight shoulder. Following a season last year where the 23-year-old didn’t have much success at the plate when called up to the Major Leagues, this is an important time of year for Peraza. He’s hoping to secure a job as a reserve infielder for the big league club, but those chances have taken a hit with the latest injury news. The Yankees hope it will be a day-to-day issue, and no tests are scheduled as of now as he nurses the injury.

The Yankees acquired a glutton of infielder on the Minor League free agent market, and they could resort to using one of them as a reserve infielder in the situation where Oswald Peraza isn’t ready for Opening Day or is optioned down to Triple-A. News of this injury was first reported by Greg Joyce of the New York Post.

Oswald Peraza Scratched From Yankees’ Lineup With Shoulder Problem

mlb: new york yankees at pittsburgh pirates, oswald peraza

Last season didn’t go as planned for Oswald Peraza, who posted a 53 wRC+ and -0.3 fWAR for the Yankees in his 52 Major League games, hitting just two home runs and striking out 26.2% of the time. While he still has a Minor League option and isn’t ruled out of Spring Training, this does damper his odds of making the big league team. His early showings haven’t been impressive in his early action in Florida, but that likely hasn’t begun to form any opinions in the organization as it’s not even March yet.

What this does do is create an interesting question regarding who the Yankees could turn to internally to find a replacement in the situation where Peraza isn’t ready for Opening Day or fails to impress. The Yankees were linked to Gio Urshela and Tony Kemp who have experience at multiple positions in the infield, but both have since joined teams in free agency. Internally, Jose Rojas has been impressive and has strong game power from the left-handed side with experience all over the infield.

mlb: los angeles angels at oakland athletics, jose rojas, yankees
Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

The left-handed hitting infielder belted a home run in their 4-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays, and he has experience in the outfield as well if the Yankees need outfield reps in a pinch. They could still sign a player in free agency, as there are plenty of players who have remained unsigned in the stalemate that has been created as teams have closed up their wallets. With Opening Day less than a month away, perhaps they can pluck a versatile infielder at a cheap cost and give them more cushion following the news of this shoulder injury.

It’s also important to note that it’s just a day-to-day issue right now, and the team will likely wait to see how he responds to treatment in the coming days before counting Peraza out of the infield competition. The lack of options on the 40-man roster could give the young infielder a leg-up, as Jorbit Vivas has limited experience in Triple-A. Ben Rortvedt could be DFA”d or traded to clear a 40-man roster spot if needed, so they do have flexibility as it’s expected that Jose Trevino and Austin Wells will be their catching tandem in 2024.

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