Yankees’ young infielder still dealing with shoulder injury, will require imaging

MLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees at New York Mets
Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

It seems as if the Yankees have to put Oswald Peraza’s availability back in question, as he’s still dealing with shoulder pain. He will now undergo testing to see if there’s any significant damage to the shoulder or if Peraza can nurse the injury with rest. A year ago he was considered the favorite to win the shortstop battle, and now it’s a question whether he’ll even be considered for a reserve spot on the team. Joel Sherman was the first to report the news, and it seems that Oswald Peraza might undergo another setback in the bench infield battle.

While the Yankees don’t have a direct option that’s seen as a lock to make the team in that role, it does seem that they’re going to need to have an insurance policy in case he isn’t ready to go for Opening Day.

Oswald Peraza Battling Shoulder Issue, Yankees Unsure About Bench

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

Oswald Peraza wasn’t a guarantee in the infield, and this shoulder injury certainly muddies his chances of making the team as a reserve option. The Yankees have always preferred utilizing Peraza as a full-time player when he comes up, and would much rather have him in Triple-A than get sparse playing time at the Major League level. Part of the problem is that in the short stretch of playing time, he got in September, he failed to do much with his bat, resulting in DJ LeMahieu reclaiming the third base job.

With Anthony Rizzo back at first base and the duo of Anthony Volpe and Gleyber Torres remaining in place up the middle, there’s no starting opportunity for the 23-year-old shortstop available at the moment. Given the fact that the Yankees are in a win-now window at the moment, it wouldn’t do them much service to play an unproven young infielder over a veteran like LeMahieu who has a better MLB track record and a safer median outcome. Furthermore, infielders in the organization are starting to emerge as legitimate options for 2024 and 2025.

READ MORE: Yankees unveil intriguing roster for 2024 Spring Breakout Game

MLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees at Detroit Tigers
Feb 24, 2024; Lakeland, Florida, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Jorbit Vivas (90) bats during the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

When the Yankees acquired Victor Gonzalez, they also acquired Jorbit Vivas, a second baseman who has a left-handed swing and fits the Bronx well. The Yankees are excited about his upside and potential and are also on their 40-man roster. He isn’t considered much of a reserve infield option given his lack of experience or success at the Triple-A level, so there’s still some development that the young infielder will have to do before he’s ready to make the jump to the Major Leagues.

Caleb Durbin is another infielder who could start the season at Triple-A and is coming off a big season in the Arizona Fall League. He was also acquired in a trade, this time coming with the Atlanta Braves last winter. Jahmai Jones and Kevin Smith could be options that replace Peraza in the short term, but they could also go after an option on the free agent market such as Jean Segura or Donovan Solano. The Yankees were interested in Enrique Hernandez and Gio Urshela before they signed MLB deals elsewhere, and that was before any injuries to Peraza.

They didn’t seem to have much faith in him coming into the season, but the injury to Oswald Peraza puts pressure on the Yankees to find an option for their bench.

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